Maggie Mahar changed my mind about the single-payer option.
I still have a bad attitude about private insurance, but not as bad as it was.
We have no way of knowing who will be the majority leaders in Congress ten years from now—or who will be in the White House. It’s not a stretch to assume that if legislators are willing to ban abortion for federal employees they might refuse to cover it in a single-payer health plan that covered the entire nation..
In the first budget that he sent to Congress President George W. Bush even tried to remove contraception from a list of products covered by FEHB. If Jed Bush became president would he nix covering contraception under a single payer insurance plan? (Remember Governor Bush’s role in the Karen Schiavo case) Or maybe he would only ban contraception for women who aren’t married. I don’t want to find out.
Of course, even if we had single-payer national health insurance, it’s likely that private sector insurers would sell “supplemental policies” –covering extras that aren’t included in the government plan. Perhaps private insurers would offer abortion insurance-- for those who could afford a supplemental policy—assuming that those insurance companies weren’t too squeamish about bomb threats. If Congress refused to include abortion in a national plan, I have to think that anyone trying to sell what would quickly be labeled “abortion insurance” would become a special target.
As regular readers know, I firmly believe that President Obama’s hybrid plan for universal coverage should include a government plan that is modeled on a new, improved and reformed version of Medicare. And I am quite sure that this Congress will include contraception in any government plan. . (I doubt President Obama would sign the plan if they didn’t. But I wonder—will government health insurance cover abortion?)