Saturday, November 17, 2007

Romney's healthcare plan in MA covers all abortions with no restrictions

Not only has Romney flip-flopped on the Human Rights Amendment, it turns out his healthcare plan in MA has been providing for abortions for as low as $50:

Fred Thompson has struck the harshest blow so far. In a release today, after noting that Massachusetts residents face an average fine of $219 this year and $2,000 over the next year, the campaign points out that Romney's plan has a $50 co-pay for abortions and says "Mitt Romney's plan covers ALL abortions – no restrictions."


But when it comes to covering abortions, the explanation is buried behind effusive praise for the plan: "The Massachusetts Health Plan benefits package was developed by… an independent body separate from the governor's office. Unfortunately, under state law and court precedent, if the state is funding health care benefits it cannot refuse to provide abortion coverage."
But as Bordy notes, Romney could have placed restrictions on the abortions:
Let’s look at this a little more closely. The Romney campaign is basically saying, hey, there’s nothing Romney could have done about the abortion clause. State law mandated it. Well, here’s the key point the Thompson campaign is making. They say Romney is hiding behind the state law because that law requires only that medically necessary abortions be covered, not all abortions. Romney’s plan covers ALL abortions without exception. They don’t think that’s very “pro-life” of him. They also wonder whether that means Romney thinks all abortions are ‘medically necessary”. Either way, they think that Romney could have done much more as Governor to fight against the $50 co-pay option. Furthermore, Thompson campaign spokesman Todd Harris is saying that the plan “requires by law that a representative from Planned Parenthood sit on the MassHealth advisory board. Tellingly, Gov. Romney made no such requirement for a representative from the pro-life movement.”
Putting Planned Parenthood on the advisory board doesn't seem like a pro-life governor would do.