Lawmakers raise concerns about abortion amendment in health exchange bill

Providence, RI – By MEGAN HALL

A bill that would create a committee to design Rhode Island's health insurance exchange passed the senate yesterday without the support of some of its biggest champions.

At issue was an amendment restricting access to abortion coverage on the health insurance marketplace.

Kate Brock with Ocean State Action says that's not what the bill was supposed to do. "The exchange bill was supposed to be an apolitical step towards expanding access to health care, and they have effectively turned this bill into a backdoor ban on abortion coverage," she says.

The amendment would require Rhode Islanders to buy an additional health care policy if they want abortion coverage.

Senator Josh Miller and Senator Rhoda Perry are among lawmakers who voted against the bill because of the abortion amendment. Supporters of the change could not be reached for comment in time for this report.

The legislation now heads to a hearing in the House.

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