Reader Poll: HB818 on Abortion: Overreach, or Legitimate?

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, creates an health insurance exchange through which individuals can obtain insurance from private providers. Low income individuals can have their plans subsidized.

The ACA also allows states to block participating plans from covering abortions.

This week Gov. Corbett signed into law HB818, a measure that forbids any plan that participates in the exchange from covering abortions. The PA Independent has the details.

Supporters say the bill strengthens a long standing line between taxpayer money and abortions. Opponents say that the bill crosses a line because the ban extends even to plans that don’t come with a subsidy.

What do you think?

Is HB818 an overreach, or is it legitimate?


  • The bill is an overreach by those who want to restrict access to abortion. (67%)
  • The bill is legitimate because it’s in keeping with current policy. (33%)

Total Voters: 234

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2 Responses

  1. Personally, I think that rather than the simple “one side says X and the other side says Y” approach, there should be more details about current law and the bill here. But even only looking at the source you provide, the conservative PA Independent, shows in a simple way that your poll options here are misleading and have a right-wing slant. According to the PA Independent blog you cite:

    “However, the ban also extends to plans sold by private insurers issued without federal subsidy.”

    This means that your second poll option, “The bill is legitimate because it’s in keeping with current policy,” while echoing the conservative Republican talking point on the issue, also happens to be a lie. The current law referred to is with regard to abortions paid for with public funds, but the bill in question bans abortion coverage paid with entirely private funds.

    The first option is a sharply worded liberal opinion, so the second option should be a conservative parallel to that and give a strong opinion many conservatives would agree with like “Abortion kills babies and needs to be more restricted than it is today.” That would be fair and less biased. Setting it up so that the first option is a sharply worded liberal opinion and the second option is the outright false talking point pushed by conservatives gives people who aren’t familiar with the details of the issue (and might not check the PA Independent article to see for themselves that the second option is a lie) a highly misleading impression of it and skews the poll to the right.

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