Insurers Ignore Obamacare Rules, Cue Outrage Over Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

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angry-yelling-old-manInsurance companies have helpfully handed the GOP a nice big bomb to throw in the lead-up to this fall’s elections, and this bomb has “TAXPAYER-FUNDED ABORTIONS” painted on its side. While payment for abortion coverage and payment for every other kind of health coverage are supposed to be kept separate based on a rule written into the Affordable Care Act, most insurance companies have crossed the streams anyway. Instead of total protonic reversal à la Ghostbusters, though, we get tax-dollar-related pearl-clutching.

The “dual-track payment” rule was added to Obamacare as a concession to conservatives in order to get the bill passed, and the way it’s written means that general health insurance coverage payments (which might include federal subsidy money) made to an insurer by an employer have to be kept separate from any payments for abortion riders. Is it a stupid rule? Yes. For one thing, abortion coverage IS health coverage, and for another, all the money is coming from the same place and going to a different same place; it just has to take two separate paths to get there. Yes, the rule is just a convenient way for Democrats to get the law passed and for Republicans to justify themselves to their home district; it’s little more than political CYA-ing of the most tedious sort.

However. It is still a rule, and the fact that the Government Accountability Office is reporting that 15 out of 18 insurers are ignoring that rule provides the GOP with a lot of fodder for this fall. “Your money is paying for Loose Women to get abortions!” plays pretty well when devoid of context about what the dual-track rule is and how it works and how pointless it is. I’m sure it’s annoying for insurance companies and employers to have to jump through this whack-a-doodle hoop, but them’s the breaks.

And even worse, it’s going to mean I’m subjected on Facebook to people whining about how other people are using “their” tax money. Sorry, but if my tax dollars are going to be used to bail out corporations, bomb the hell out of a bunch of brown people, and provide police departments with armored carriers and you think that’s just peachy keen, I don’t think you have a lot of room to get your britches twisted. Your tax money and that filthy, gross abortion money would have wound up in the same place no matter what, and if you’re freaking out over the fact that they touched each other on the way, I think maybe you need to take a few moments to re-evaluate the choices that have brought you to this point in your life.

Yes, insurance companies need to follow the letter of the law of the Affordable Care Act, and collect payments separately for abortion riders. But people also need to realize that no one is stealing your tax money and handing it over to Abortions ‘R’ Us. This is a technical violation at the worst, so please, Republicans, save the fear-mongering for a rainy political day.

(Image: PathDoc/Shutterstock)