State Provided Health Insurance for Graduate Students…

won’t include even medically necessary abortions, in a bill approved yesterday by the Kansas House.

Rep. Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard, amended the bill to deny coverage for abortions for student policyholders. The amendment was approved 72-50 on a roll-call vote. Later, the bill was advanced, 85-35, to final action, which is expected Wednesday. While abortion may be a legal procedure, Kelsey said, it is immoral and the state shouldn’t be funding the procedure.
However, legislators said the bill could have implications for college students seeking affordable health coverage.
Assistant Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita, said the provision would likely be challenged in court and delay implementation of the insurance program at a time when students need more options, not fewer.
Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence and chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, sad, “This is not the time or the vehicle for this debate.”

It seems to me the Kansas House is going at this from the wrong direction. Harvard’s required insurance includes elective and medically necessary abortions, but students with a moral objection to the coverage can opt out of the abortion provision. Why couldn’t Kansas do something along the same lines? That would provide graduate students with badly needed coverage and provide students with a strong moral objection to abortion with an out. Instead, the Kansas reps have turned a debate that should be about providing state university students with decent medical insurance into an abortion debate. What a shame.

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