The Nelson Amendement-the Senate’s answer to Stupak , which would limit coverage for abortion-was voted down yesterday. On the surface, this seems like a victory for pro-choice forces in the Senate, but Sen. Harry Reid intimates that the fight is not over, and Sen. Ben Nelson is threatening to fillibuster unless the language on abortion restrictions is tightened. According to the Washington Post :
Reid told reporters earlier Tuesday afternoon he would consider other language to allay Nelson’s concerns. “If in fact he doesn’t succeed here, we’ll try something else,” Reid said.
None of the bills emerging from the House and Senate require insurers to cover all the elements of a standard gynecological “well visit,” leaving essential care such as pelvic exams, domestic violence screening, counseling about sexually transmitted diseases, and, perhaps most startlingly, the provision of birth control off the list of basic benefits all insurers must cover.
If essential care isn’t part of health insurance reform, getting the bill passed is a pyrrhic victory for women at best.