As the GOP-led American Health Care Act, which would repeal and replace Obamacare, makes its way to the Senate after passing in the House, this tweet from California’s senior senator caught our attention:
Ridiculous! Republican health plan blocks Calif. from receiving tax credits because our state covers reproductive health care. #VoteNoAHCA— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) May 4, 2017
So we decided to dig into her claim. Could the state really miss out on tax credits for covering reproductive health care?
Here’s what we found out:
First, we reached out to Sen. Feinstein’s office. Spokeswoman Ashley Schapitl pointed us to page 73 of the AHCA, which states that health insurance companies could offer a plan that covers abortion, as long as it “not paid for” with any tax credits.
The bill’s language also says that a health insurance company could offer a separate abortion coverage plan.
But, California and New York are the only states that require health insurance companies to cover abortion care.
“This language essentially says that no subsidies can be used to purchase plans in those states,” Schapitl said.
So because of state law, a health insurer could not offer a health insurance plan without abortion coverage.
“It’s directly at odds with the state,” University of California, Los Angeles health professor Nadereh Pourat said. “California has to change the law to allow policies to be sold without abortion coverage.”
To recap, under the AHCA, health insurers can offer a plan with abortion coverage, but it cannot be paid for with tax credits, according to the bill’s language.
Moreover, California requires abortion care with any health insurance policy, so they stand to lose those credits anyway since a policy without abortion coverage goes against state law.
Bottom line, Sen. Feinstein’s claim is verified.
Ashley Schapitl, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s spokeswoman
Nadereh Pourat, University of California, Los Angeles health professor
U.S. Government Publishing Office, "H.R. 1628," accessed May 5, 2017
READ: Full text of the AHCA