Va. Gov. Seeks To Bar Abortion Coverage From The Federal Exchange That Will Serve The State

Gov. Bob McDonnell added the provision Monday to recently passed legislation. Meanwhile, in other news, the Maryland Senate could vote as early as today on a bill that implements the state's new insurance marketplace and Louisiana insurers and nonprofits form group to help consumers understand new insurance options.

The Associated Press: McDonnell's Amendment Would Bar Abortion In Va. Federal Health Care Exchange
Insurance policies that cover abortions couldn't be purchased through the federally run health care exchange that will serve Virginia under an amendment Gov. Bob McDonnell offered Monday to recently passed legislation. The Republican governor's action, which reproductive rights organizations had warned for weeks was imminent, would forbid policies providing abortions to be sold through the exchange that is authorized by President Barack Obama's health care overhaul (3/26).

The Washington Post: McDonnell Aims To Block Abortion Coverage
Health plans offered to Virginians through federal insurance exchanges could not cover most abortions under amendments that Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has proposed to two General Assembly bills. The Republican governor’s recommendations, which the legislature could accept or reject along with McDonnell's other amendments when it reconvenes April 3, does not represent a shift in state policy (Vozzella, 3/26).  

Baltimore Sun: Final Vote Expected In Senate On Health Bill
The Maryland Senate could vote as early as Wednesday on a bill that would qualify more Marylanders for government health care and pay for a new health insurance marketplace, both part of advancing the rollout of federal health reform. The House of Delegates approved an identical bill Monday, clearing the way for the legislation to make its way to Gov. Martin O'Malley for his signature. Initiatives in the bill spell out changes in the way poor or uninsured residents and small businesses would access health care once the federal law becomes effective next year (Dance and Cox, 3/26).

New Orleans Times Picayune: New Coalition Hopes To Provide Public With Information About Federal Health Law
Anticipating widespread consumer confusion as the Affordable Care Act mandates kick in next year, a group of nonprofits and businesses led by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana are forming a coalition to help people wade through the complicated new marketplace. The Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition will hold news conferences across the state this week. Over the coming months, the group wants to disseminate information about the federal law’s implementation by helping educate members, attending health fairs and other efforts (Maggi, 3/26).

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