Last week, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in Florida and Representatives Annette Dub (D-NE) and Beau McCoy (R-NE) in Nebraska proposed bills that, if passed, would ban abortion coverage in insurance policies sold in state health insurance exchanges. The state exchanges are scheduled to begin operating in 2014. Representative McCoy’s bill, which was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life, also proposes prohibiting private health plans from covering abortion services unless the women’s life is threatened.
Representative Gaetz (R-FL) said that he intended for the bill to serve as an extension of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest, or impending death of the woman.
Stephanie Kunkel, executive director of the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, pointed out that the bill is unnecessary because federal restrictions on abortion funding already exist. She clarified, “Our hope is elected officials will agree this (Gaetz bill) is simply unnecessary and will let it die.”