Governor Corbett announced this afternoon that Pennsylvania will not set up its own health insurance exchanges under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). In his statement, the governor said, “Healthcare reform is too important to be achieved through haphazard planning. Pennsylvania taxpayers and businesses deserve more. They deserve informed decision making and a strong plan that responsibly uses taxpayer dollars.”
The Catholic Church has long and consistently advocated for the reform of the American health care system. Access to health care is fundamental and necessary for human dignity. Yet concerns raised during the health care reform debate about conscience protection and coverage of elective abortion are not resolved. Without a state exchange, Pennsylvanians who qualify will be enrolled in the federal exchange, which will cover elective abortions. PCC, with other pro-life organizations, will explore every option to avoid the federal elective abortion provision. Some pro-life groups have suggested that there may be other opt-out actions that can be taken, and we will spend the coming days exploring those options.
If Pennsylvania had created its own exchange, it would have been able to opt out of this abortion coverage. As Pennsylvanians work with the state and federal government to address issues of cost and flexibility, we must also be concerned about taxpayers supporting the flawed and damaging idea that elective abortions are basic health care.