Make Abortion in Health Care Reform the Second “Great Compromise”

November 8th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Those of you who know your American history might recall the “Great Compromise” that allowed the rural states and the urban states to overcome a major impasse about whether representation should be proportional to population or whether all states should get equal weight.  The result was a bicameral legislature.  (But you knew that.)

Health care reform almost reached an impasse yesterday — and may still reach an impasse — over whether abortions can be included in coverage.  It was decided that policyholders would have to pay extra to have abortion as a covered benefit.    Needless to say, pro-choice groups are not happy.

However, if you do the math, you immediately determine that not covering abortion costs more than covering abortion, for the simple reason that birth events cost more than abortion.  So the outside-of-the-box “great compromise” would be that the basic package, as passed by the House, excludes abortion, but policyholders must then join one of two pools.  The first pool covers abortion and might add a dollar a month (yes, a dollar a month — the amounts of money involved in abortion relative to everything else are trivial) to the premium. 

The second pool does not cover abortion.  Because, other things equal, access to abortion reduces the birth rate and hence birth expense (especially neonatal care expense), this pool would add more to the premium, perhaps $3-$4/month.  However, pro-lifers would have an option of giving their money to an insurance plan that excludes abortion, thus not compromising their principles.

We need to respect everyone’s principles here.   However, principles are not free, and we all need to be willing to pay the price to defend those principles.

Share This Idea:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google


Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Make Abortion in Health Care Reform the Second “Great Compromise””

  1. dblacklock Says:

    The 1st option - covering abortion - costs an extra $1/month

    The 2nd option - not covering abortion - costs an extra $3-$4/month and this taxpayer is not funding abortions.

    If that’s actuarily verifiable it should get legislators off the hook.


Leave a Reply