Revised Shupak Abortion Rider Proposal Following All Your Comments

November 16th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Here is the compromise following everyone’s input.  To pro-lifers, I say, Roe v. Wade is the law of the land.  You can change it via the Supreme Court, not through a rider to a bill in Congress.  And if it’s a matter of principle not to pay for abortions with “your” insurance premiums, you shouldn’t mind paying a higher price for insurance coverage without it.

To pro-choicers, I say, you need to respect the principles of people who are pro-life.  I know it’s hard for you to believe, but they genuinely do think abortion is murder.  Shupak is an accommodation you need to accept in order to pass  comprehensive reform, but the good news is that the so-called abortion rider is free or better, so no woman will be denied her right to an abortion because she can’t afford the premium.

****************************

STUPAK IS BRILLIANT POLITICS BUT BAD MATH

 

The Stupak Amendment to the health reform package, requiring abortion coverage to be in a pay-as-you-go rider rather than in the basic insurance plan, is brilliant anti-health reform politics, but it’s also flawed math.    The flaw is that abortion coverage might lead to lower insurance costs, not higher costs, overall.   The reason is very simple:  A full-term delivery is much more expensive than a typical abortion.  If insured people without abortion coverage have significantly more babies than insured people with coverage, the cost of insurance without abortion coverage could exceed the cost of insurance with it. 

 

Therefore a mathematically sound resolution of the abortion coverage issue is to provide not one rider, but rather two — one for a policy covering abortion and one for a policy excluding it from coverage.  Here’s how the logistics would work.  People would start by purchasing a baseline policy, for a lower monthly premium than would be charged absent this proposal.  Next, people would have to decide on their rider.  They could pay roughly $2 extra per month (yes – spread across the childbearing-age population, actual spending on abortion is that low) to purchase abortion coverage.  Or they could pay another sum, probably also around $2, to join the insurance pool that does not cover abortion, but which instead is likely to pay claims for more unwanted pregnancies carried to term.

 

Note that these initial monthly $2 figures are both initial guesstimates based on abortion rates, procedure costs and historic changes in birth rates following state abortion law changes.    Actuaries could set the rates based on more sophisticated versions of those same inputs, and in future years adjust the rates based on experience.  In any given year, the abortion rider may or may not cost more than the other rider, but it would be very close.  Yes, both sides would say that the debate should not be about math, but rather about principles.  However, health reform is about insurance, and the math behind insurance is agnostic and immutable.  Math trumps principles.

 

Notwithstanding complaints that this compromise is about math and not principles, the dual-rider solution should mollify multiple constituencies.  First, while abortion proponents must accept coverage via a rider as a fait accompli, the extra cost of the rider — when netted out against the higher birth costs in the non-rider pool – will be between trivial and negative. 

 

Second, people who are opposed to government financing for abortion are not forced to subsidize abortion coverage.   If indeed the pool without coverage does end up charging a higher premium, people opposed to abortion on principle should be willing to pay that higher premium in defense of those principles.

 

The net effect of this dual-rider compromise:  Abortion is decoupled from health reform, if not in theory than in practice.  This allows health care reform to get votes from legislators who, like Martha Coakley if she were serving now, would vote against the entire package if the Shupak Amendment were to stand untouched.

 

This compromise can be implemented with one sentence:  Congressional abortion proponents should accept the Shupak Amendment as a framework, but insist on a requirement of actuarially sound premium adjustments, just as any real insurer would insist upon when setting premiums.  That requirement would be hard to oppose — no one can prefer “actuarially unsound premium adjustments” in an insurance package.   If the government is going to be an insurer, it needs to act like one.

  

It is not pretty to think about abortion as saving money, but ultimately health reform is about insurance, insurance is based on arithmetic, and the arithmetic may dictate higher premiums for the pool without coverage.  Math is not, and — despite all the politics of health reform — will never be, a popularity contest

www.it4test.com
200-120
210-260
200-310
SY0-401
810-403
300-320
400-101
70-533
N10-006
MB2-707
210-060
400-201
350-018
ADM-201
CISSP
1Z0-060
400-051
300-075
MB2-704
100-101
9L0-012
642-999
300-115
MB5-705
70-461
1V0-601
300-206
352-001
70-486
300-135
NS0-157
PR000041
300-101
70-346
CCA-500
70-480
300-208
70-462
EX200
1Z0-803
EX300
ICBB
1Z0-808
AWS-SYSOPS
1Z0-434
300-070
CAS-002
220-801
SSCP
PMP
642-997
70-410
101-400
ITILFND
AX0-100
2V0-621
102-400
101
1Z0-067
220-802
70-463
C_TAW12_731
70-494
CISM
700-501
NSE4
NSE7
70-483
70-488
Share This Idea:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google

Email

Tags: , , , ,

3 Responses to “Revised Shupak Abortion Rider Proposal Following All Your Comments”

  1. Al Lewis Says:

    Comments following Montel Williams interview: He pointed out that many people aren’t simply going to go along with this just becuase the rider is free. And I said, “yes, but we aren’t trying to get the extremists. We are trying to get the reasonable people in the middle to accept a compromise where all beliefs are respected.”

    I don’t expect to get the extreme leftists who say, abortion should be in the basic benefit period as a matter of principle (even if the Shupak rider would cost less), or the extreme rightists who don’t want it covered at all, even in a rider.

  2. Tooz Says:

    Al - you picked a controversial subject, to say the least.

    Yes, I believe abortion is murder. No, I don’t want it covered by my insurance or tax dollars. However, I make exceptions in cases of rape, incest and the extremely rare case of a threat to the life of the expectant mother - with the caviat that every effort must be made to avoid those abortions, too (adoption by parents who really want a baby, for instance.)

    Does that make me an “extreme rightist”? If that is the case, you label the majority of those on the right as “extreme”!

    I know stopping abortion will take the Supreme Court, and at the risk of beating a dead horse, put abortion to the “Society Test”: If all of society did “it”, would society be better off?

    Abortion: no, because humankind would die off at the end of the generation (zero babies born). Murder: no, because humankind would die off at the end of this generation. So what’s the difference?

  3. Joey Says:

    That’s a nice irrelevant test to use in the case of abortion. No one is suggesting that every pregnancy is aborted, so to use the test is simply a distraction.

Leave a Reply