END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

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Not The Onion: Forced-birthers getting the vapors over abortion costing 1 penny too little.

Holy cats.

A couple of weeks ago, a GAO report concluded that a dozen or so insurance companies, along with the Washington State ACA exchange, weren't fully complying with the "no federal funding of abortion" provision within the Affordable Care Act:

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.

As silly and insulting as I thought this was at the time, I didn't know just how silly this was until I read up on the details of the regulations in the law (which were only added, I might add, to satisfy the demands of a handful of anti-choice members of Congress to win their support of the ACA, primarily former Congressman Bart Stupak). Take a gander:

The ACA allows insurers to sell policies that cover elective abortion on the state health-care exchanges—unless state law says otherwise—but it governs key aspects of those policies. The law and its implementing regulations prohibit the use of federal subsidies to pay for elective abortion coverage. To make sure that doesn’t happen, insurers selling such plans on the health-care exchanges must do three things: They have to estimate the monthly cost of elective abortion coverage on an average actuarial basis, which cannot be less than $1 (that prevents insurers from giving it away). Then they must collect from enrollees a separate payment equal to that cost. Finally, after they receive that payment, issuers have to segregate it from any other premiums collected from the enrollee. But before the insurer even gets to the billing stage, regulations require that potential customers be able to tell whether the policy they’re considering covers elective abortions. That was the plan, anyway. But it doesn't look like things are proceeding according to plan.

The GAO found a host of problems with the insurers they contacted. Two of the insurance companies were charging less than $1 for elective abortion coverage, in violation of the law. Others determined that the actuarial cost of such coverage was less than $1, but rounded up to comply with the ACA. Another insurer reported that when factoring in administrative costs it was charging less than the mandated amount—and that this arrangement was approved by state regulators. In another state, regulators correctly instructed one of the surveyed insurance companies to charge at least $1. The Washington Health Benefit Exchange wasn’t even charging a separate premium for elective abortion coverage. They said they’re working to address that oversight.

Yes, that's right.

The GOP is in an absolute tizzy because some insurance companies have been charging $0.99 for a legal medical procedure instead of $1.00, and then printing the invoice as "$200.00/month" instead of "$199/month + $1.00 for having an abortion".

Meanwhile, in Michigan, up to 200 rape victims per year will be fined and/or punished as a result of this idiocy.

This is where we've come as a country.