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Oregon Senate Votes for Free Abortion Coverage

In a 17-13 vote Wednesday, the Oregon Senate approved a measure that would require state health insurance companies to cover abortions and other reproductive services free of charge regardless of the patient’s income, citizenship status, or “gender identity.” The bill, which heads to the governor’s desk, would also allot nearly $500,000 to expand coverage for abortions and other reproductive services to illegal immigrants ineligible for Medicaid. If signed into law, the measure, which provides an exemption for employers with religious objections to providing abortion coverage, would give everyone in Oregon access to these types of reproductive services even if Obamacare is repealed. Oregon is the only state that has no restrictions on abortion.

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New Healthcare Bill Goes Against Employee Privacy Rights

Under the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act filed this month by North Carolina Congressman Virginia Foxx, employers would offer genetic testing as part of a voluntary workplace wellness program. Employees who agree to genetic testing and share results with the company would then save up to 30 percent on their workplace health insurance. Those who decline to participate in the testing because it invades privacy rights would not get a discount and thus would end up paying more for their health insurance. Currently, federal law protects genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. Nearly 70 organizations are fighting the bill. The bill is currently under review by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

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Contraceptive Drugs Coverage (SB 1142 / HB 721)

BILL SUMMARY

Requires that every group health insurance policy, to the extent not preempted by federal law, have coverage for all contraceptive drugs and devices approved by the FDA.

BILL ANALYSIS

This is very similar to the Obamacare mandate on contraception, which resulted in a lawsuit from the Little Sisters of the Poor. The bill does offer a mild religious liberty exception but requires an organization to file for a religious exemption (subject to approval) and offer written notice to prospective enrollees.

BILL SPONSORS

Kyle in the Senate, Powell in the House

TRACK THIS BILL

Full Text: Senate Bill / House Bill

BILL STATUS

No action taken in the House or Senate.