The Reproductive Parity Act aims to maintain existing abortion coverage levels after new health insurance rules are implemented under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) in 2014. Last year, a similar measure (HB 2330) passed the Democrat-controlled House, but failed to make it to the Senate floor.
Opponents of the bill said it is unnecessary because insurers in the state already offer abortion coverage.
State House Majority Leader Rodney Tom (D) claimed the bill could put federal Medicaid money in jeopardy because such funds are not allowed to be used for abortion. However, a clause in the measure would nullify any provision found to interfere with the state's receipt of federal money, according to the AP/Times (Kaminsky, AP/Seattle Times, 1/30).