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Forced-Birthers Getting the Vapors Over Insurance Company Accounting Procedures

Hat Tip To: 
Mike

Apparently some insurance companies haven't been complying with the byzantine hoops that anti-choice forces demanded be included in the Affordable Care Act (although for the most part they still voted against it anyway):

The new GAO study shows that, instead, taxpayers are subsidizing abortions. Customers in five states have no abortion-free plans available to them, and in many states, customers can't tell which plans cover abortion and which don't.

...Fifteen issuers and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange ... did not itemize the premium amount associated with non-excepted abortion services coverage on enrollees’ bills nor indicate that they send a separate bill for that premium amount.

Now, as someone who has the crazy idea that women should be the ones to decide what happens to their bodies, I don't personally give a rat's ass about this, but obviously it's causing a bit of a kerfuffle. The stupid part about this is that this is purely an accounting issue; it's not like there's a specific check written by a taxpayer to the IRS which goes specifically towards an abortion.

For that matter, I'd imagine that the companies in question could simply re-work their pricing to separate out any abortion services if they wished to and the enrollees would still end up receiving the same tax credits and paying the same premiums. So why didn't they do so? My guess is either a) they didn't want to be bothered with such an idiotic requirement or b) their billing department just got a bit lazy about it.

Now, having said that, regardless of how offensive this regulation is, they really should suck it up and separate out the line item in question (after understandably rolling their eyes about it). And yes, the Washington State exchange (one of only 3 that I now of which handles billing as well...the others were Massachusetts and, I believe, Nevada, although both of those exchanges were seriously screwed up in a hundred other ways anyway) really should rectify this ASAP. Wait, what's that?

State officials told the GAO this was a mistake they would remedy.

Oh. OK, then.

Am I being overly dismissive of this story? Perhaps, but I really just can't get too worked up over it, especially since this very requirement in the ACA, in conjunction with an insanely offensive law here in Michigan, is currently subjecting up to 200 women per year to $500 fines and/or cruel & unusual punishment...for being raped.