SB 98: Federal Abortion Mandate Opt-out Act
SB98 passed the Georgia House on Tuesday, March 18. GRTL-approved changes made in the House were agreed to by the Senate. SB98 will go to Governor Deal's desk for a signature. To read our press release on the passage, click here. See the full-sized progress tracker here.
Federal Abortion Mandate Opt-out Act (SB 98) Sen. Judson Hill, Dist. 32
This bill states that, “No abortion coverage shall be provided by a qualified health plan offered through a state or federal law or regulation within the State of Georgia.”
The bill accomplishes 2 things:
- On a FEDERAL level, it prevents taxpayer subsidies for abortion through Obama Care. The Obama health care law requires states to operate and maintain a “health insurance exchange” or the Federal government will set one up for them. Georgia has not done so, therefore, the Federal government has. Unless the state legislature enacts a law to restrict abortion coverage, these exchange-participating plans will offer abortion coverage. Specific language in the Obama health care law authorizes the states to prevent abortion coverage through the exchanges.
HERE’S THE POINT: Georgia is the only state in the Southeast to not opt out of the abortion coverage! There is no excuse for a Republican controlled state legislature to have not passed this restriction. Senator Hill’s bill will take care of this problem.
- On a STATE level, it prevents taxpayer subsidies for abortion coverage through state employee health plans. Sen. Mike Crain’s SB 164 exposed the fact last year that Georgia taxpayers were paying approximately 75% of state employee health premiums that had elective abortion coverage in them! Thankfully, during the summer of 2013 Governor Nathan Deal worked with the Department of Community Health to change this coverage. While we are thankful for the Governor’s influence, we also still need to pass a law to insure that future Governors do not rescind Gov. Deal’s decision.
To read SB 98 in its entirety, click here.