Comparing the health-care-reform plans

The New York Times has a helpful interactive chart comparing the various provisions and stipulations of the House and Senate health-care reform bills. Here's how they break down the abortion issue:

HOUSE VERSION

  • Health plans could choose whether to cover abortion.
  • Low- and middle-income people who receive federal subsidies to buy insurance could not choose a health plan that covers elective abortions.
  • The public plan would not provide abortion coverage.

SENATE VERSION

  • Health plans could choose whether to cover abortion. In each state, there would have to be at least one plan that covers abortions and one that does not.
  • Low- and middle-income people who receive federal subsidies to buy insurance could enroll in health plans that cover abortion. But insurers would be required to segregate their federal subsidies into separate accounts and use only the premium money and co-payments contributed by consumers to cover the procedure.
  • The public plan could provide abortion coverage but would have to segregate federal dollars, just like the private plans.

Mollie Wilson O'Reilly is an editor at large and columnist at Commonweal.

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