Forbes on why insurance companies like paying for abortion: "It's cheaper"

Well, this certainly cuts to the chase. From, yesterday:

Abortion has emerged again as a key sticking point in negotiations over healthcare reform....

Forbes logo 2.png

The fuss has exposed what's been a fairly quiet practice: most health plans now pay for abortions, no questions asked. Why? It saves lots of money....

Insurance companies are loathe to comment on why they pay for the controversial procedure but if you're running the business by the numbers, it's fairly obvious. An unwanted pregnancy is much more inexpensive to terminate, compared to the cost of a delivery.

"A first trimester abortion is $300 to $450," [John] Nugent [CEO of Planned Parenthood of MD] says. "But if the gestational age is higher you're paying for a surgical suite. That's why the insurance companies think they should be offering it. It's cheaper to terminate an unwanted pregnancy rather than taking it to term."

Health Care Blue Book confirms the price difference. An abortion performed in an physician's office typically costs $397. A vaginal delivery costs $5,992, while a c-section is $8,558....

Don't expect the money arguments to get much airtime in Washington, even if the insurance companies have a financial stake in the outcome. "They won't talk about it," Nugent says.

One more point not covered: The push to abort babies who are handicapped, have birth defects, or are fatally or nonfatally ill is largely for the same reason.

I'm also sure the bottom line is is in the back of every pro-abort politicians mind. It's cheaper to off preborn babies than have Medicaid pay for deliveries and well baby care - or worse, sick baby care.


The love of money is indeed the root of evil.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at January 8, 2010 8:21 AM

Big surprise,

I remember all the wailing and gnashing of teeth when the Hyde Amendment went into effect? All this "concern" for poor women? Well, turns out this "concern" could be summed up simply and finally was when we were constantly reminded that a medicaid abortion was much cheaper than 18 years of welfare payments.
Oh and the "facts" that poor women produce criminals, poor women cannot make good mothers, poor women neglect and abuse their children...

So where were the liberal feminists when low income women were stereotyped in this manner? They were shouting the loudest in support of this elitist, and sometimes not so subtley racist, rhetoric.

Posted by: Mary at January 8, 2010 8:22 AM

They do not take into account that people are our greatest resource. Many western countries are not replacing their population with declining birth rates; the US is still replacing itself but that may soon change.
How can the economy do well if we have less and less people to do the work, pay the taxes for all the benefits we want?
This is cutting off one's nose to ... well you know what.

Posted by: Julie Culshaw at January 8, 2010 8:23 AM

Think about it this it cheaper to abort if the mother later develops breast cancer? Is it cheaper to abort if later the woman wants a baby and finds she is infertile and has to go to a fertility specialist for treatment? Is it cheaper to abort when the mother later develops anorexia or drug dependancy problems and needs psychiatric help? All these things, cancer, infertility, eating disorders, depression and substance abuse have been linked to abortion so how is abortion REALLY saving money in the long run?

But insurance companies never really follow through with that "money" train of thought and look at the big picture.

Posted by: Sydney M at January 8, 2010 8:41 AM

This is the number you have to call before you can have an abortion at the Women's Pavillion in Houston Texas. you have to listen to this recording before you can have your procedure according to Texas law. Can you even make out a word this doctor is saying? This is worse than the McDonald's drive-thru!

This facility is the same facility that ripped off the head and arm of 7 month baby David in December 1989.

Here's the number: 1-800-390-0981

They have the audacity to say on their website "Serving Texas and our nation for 30 years." Yeah, I doubt baby David thinks that.

Posted by: Sydney M at January 8, 2010 8:59 AM

Here is the story on baby David. GOD HAVE MERCY ON US.

Posted by: Sydney M at January 8, 2010 9:02 AM

This seems a tad short-sighted to me, even from their point of view. Setting aside the Medicaid/welfare argument for a moment, plenty of middle-class and upper-class women have abortions. Had every one of these women carried to term, wouldn't the insurance companies have a slew of customers as each one reached adulthood?

Plus, I love the basic assumption in the welfare argument that apparently none of the kids born to mothers in that situation could ever attain anything more, regardless of the fact we don't live in a caste system.

Posted by: Cameron at January 8, 2010 9:04 AM

Okay that link didn't work for some is another one.

I'd really like to know what Ashley nerd thinks of this.

Posted by: Sydney M at January 8, 2010 9:06 AM

Follow the money...Cameron you make an excellent point - aborted children can never be future customers.

I had a thyroidectomy and shortly there after developed a bleed, which necessitated me being taken back into surgery to stop the bleeding. The insurance company would not cover the second surgery although it was life saving.

The reason being - it was cheaper for me to be dead than for me to have had that surgery.

Sigh - follow the money -

Posted by: Lee at January 8, 2010 10:07 AM

Hi Sydney M, 8:59am

Can you imagine this being considered an acceptable standard of care before any other type of surgical procedure such as a total knee replacement or hysterectomy?

Aren't patients in non-emergency situations supposed to meet their surgeon to be examined, advised, and given time to consider their options prior to even going to an outpatient facility or a hospital? Isn't the doctor supposed to make certain the patient fully understands all this, not just assume the patient understood a recording on the phone?
I've never heard of anything so outrageous.

This is just unbelievable. Is this Texas law or a way around it? Did the legislators really intend that counselling an abortion patient meant a recorded phone message?

Posted by: Mary at January 8, 2010 10:19 AM

Hi Cameron,

You make excellent points. These children also grow up to become employers and employees. They start businesses. They have purchasing power.

The people, doctors,nurses, teachers, babysitters, nannies, retailers, etc. have employment because these children are born. They purchase insurance.

The mentality that welfare mothers produce children they are unable and unwilling to care for is pure elitism. Did these people, who considered themselves such bastions of tolerance, ever listen to themselves? They sounded just like the most vile of racists and bigots with their stereotyping and degrading comments.

True, we never know how any child will turn out.

BTW Cameron, ever notice how these liberal elites and Hollywood hobnobs like to portray themselves as coming from the most humble of origins? What a laugh. Check out their histories and you'll find they no more came from the "hood" than Paris Hilton did. Apparently wealthy liberals who think the children of the poor should be aborted find some nobility in being children of the "poor".

Posted by: Mary at January 8, 2010 10:29 AM

Sydney M. @ 8:59,

That recording really is awful but it's certainly more cost efficient than wasting time talking to the aborting mother in person. Kudos to the Women's Pavillion in Houston for watching the bottom line.

I wonder how long the recording is. I fell asleep after two or three minutes.

Posted by: Janet at January 8, 2010 11:48 AM

"most health plans now pay for abortions, no questions asked"

Hasn't this talking point been debunked? Pro-choicers were claiming most people were already paying for abortion in their private insurance, but that claim didn't pan out.

From a Catholic News Agency story "Planned Parenthood says U.S. bishops have ‘hijacked’ health care reform with Stupak Amendment":

'In July, the Congressional Quarterly quoted Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry’s trade association.

“Most insurers offer plans that include this coverage but most employers choose not to offer it as part of their benefits package,” he said.

Kathleen Sebelius during her confirmation hearings to become Secretary for Health and Human Services in April told the Senate Finance Committee that private plans do not cover abortion except in “limited circumstances,” the New York Times reports.'

Posted by: Kevin J Jones at January 8, 2010 11:49 AM

Yes, the cost effectiveness argument has long been an area that has been exposed by the medical community concerning the death sentence for individuals who have Down syndrome, and are diagnosed in the womb. It is amazing to me that the ACOG can put a document out, actually showing the cost effectiveness of an abortion, over the birth of a child with Ds, and yet, people still blindly believe they in for the best interest of the mother! Lord have mercy on us is right. Scary stuff I tell ya!

Posted by: Diane @ IDSC For Life at January 8, 2010 1:31 PM

They do not take into account that people are our greatest resource. Many western countries are not replacing their population with declining birth rates; the US is still replacing itself but that may soon change.
How can the economy do well if we have less and less people to do the work, pay the taxes for all the benefits we want?

Then open the doors to immigration.

Forcing women to have kids they never wanted seldom results in high-bracket taxpayers.

Posted by: Laura at January 8, 2010 3:53 PM

Our doors for immigration are very open, last time I checked, and that does not guarantee "high-bracket taxpayers".

Laura, you present a false dichotomy--women wouldn't be forced to have kids they never wanted. Women should take the responsibility to prevent an unwanted pregnancy before it ever happens, plus adoption is always an option after the fact.

Posted by: Cameron at January 8, 2010 4:27 PM

Wow!! How sad, being a woman (who had her rights) who had an abortion back in 1993 I am here to say that I was a very strong independant woman that exercised her rights of having an abortion and killing my baby bcuz my husband and I were told that if we have the baby I had a 60/40 chance of dying we had 2 boys at the time and we decided that we were not leaving them behind without a mother, I was athiest at the time and over the years I had nightmares, I became a meth-crack addict I lost marriage, myself, my wonderful job, and it wasnt until 2005 when it finally hit me why my life was the way it was, I began to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and after reading scripture and the Holy Spirit touching my heart, I truly 100% believe it was because I murdered my little Kierra Eva I have been through not one but two P.A.C.E classes and have finally let myself receive forgiveness from God. Women do not know what they are doing, they have no idea that it will catch up to them. I just want to pray for more education for these women, and a huge blanket of comfort for those that are going through what we (women who have had abortions) all go through God please do a work in these women to experience You and peace, comfort, open the eyes of the abortionist Lord I pray in your wonderful name Jesus Christ. Amen If you have any questions contact Pregnancy Care Center (Care Net) in your area they truly care and do not EVER judge! Love In Christ
Vicky Jenkins, Layton, Utah **By the way we found out that the Dr was wrong and I could have had a wonderful 16 yr old daughter today and I would have lived!

Posted by: Vicky Jenkins at January 9, 2010 2:30 AM

Hi Vicky Jenkins,

Your story is so heartbreaking and I'm so happy to see there has been a major turnaround in your life.

Please if its any help, realize you were misinformed. You made this decision because you sincerely and honestly thought it necessary to save your life. You made the same decision any number of us likely would have made under the same circumstances.
Did the doctor deliberately misinform you? Or did he/she sincerely believe your life was at risk? We are all blessed with hindsight. We make what we think are the best decisions at the time we make them.

I wish I could change any number of very bad decisions and choices I have made, and I didn't have the concern of my life being endangered in making them. You did.

Posted by: Mary at January 9, 2010 10:13 AM

God bless you Vicky. Thank you for sharing your story. The Lord has forgiven you and you will meet your precious baby girl in heaven. You are not under any condemnation. Like Mary stated you made the same decision many of us would have given the information you were given. You cannot be held responsible for what you did not know and for the misinformation you were given. Welcome to this blog. I have family members and friends who are post abortive and their stories are tragic but the healing power of Jesus has healed them as well.

Posted by: Prolifer L at January 9, 2010 12:08 PM

Hi Vicky and PLL,

Also Vicky, and I'm sure PLL as a medical professional would agree, there have been advances in medical knowledge and technology since 1993. Your doctor may well have been giving you the best advice for that period of time, based on the knowledge and technology that was available. What may have been a threat or easily misdiagnosed situation then may not be so now. As I said we are all blessed with hindsight, but we also have to look at the circumstances of the time we now look back on with such wisdom and knowledge!

How often police officers and soldiers must make snap decisions over using their weapons only to find out they shot innocent people. Again, circumstances at the moment are one thing, hindsight quite another.

Posted by: Mary at January 9, 2010 1:37 PM

That is true Mary medical technology has brought advances that could have changed Vicky's prognosis today vs. yesteryear. Praise God for you Vicky. Welcome aboard this blog.

Posted by: Prolifer L at January 9, 2010 3:12 PM

God bless you Vicky! Thank you for taking the time to comment!
My abortion was almost 20 years ago. I have found hope and healing as you have and thank God for the women I have met that inspire me to keep fighting for the lives of the unborn. I regret my abortion and know I will meet my daughter in heaven.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at January 9, 2010 3:16 PM

The Culture of Death even pervades the insurance company minds ... did it ever occur to them they need people to pay premiums to keep the insurance companies afloat? Well, with 53 million Muslims in a Europe which is in self-destruct mode (see for irrefutable statistical evidence) and 53 million abortions in the United States which is falling deeper and deeper into financial never-never land (pandemic home foreclosures and this year pandemic commercial property foreclosures as businesses fail one after the other from the population's incapacity to buy, let alone pay down their overwhelming debt levels), who here can't see God's hand punishing us who overwhelmingly preferred our money to our own flesh and blood?

If you think kids are too expensive to bring into the world, what will we do when we can no longer work and those kids that might have been aren't there to care for us?

You want to trust Obama to take up the slack? Our nation's worst abortion protagonist who is part and parcel of the Culture of Death?

Just wait, it's coming.

Posted by: peter1589 at January 10, 2010 12:33 AM

When a medical/surgical claim comes through the insurance company's claims dept, the gynecologist labels it "D & C" -- the same as a procedure for scraping out an incomplete separation of the placenta after a normal delivery. Are you expecting insurers to police when to approve this as a normal post-delivery complication and when to disapprove this procedure as an optional abortion?
The normal approach in the Dr.'s office is to code procedures in whatever code (that can be justified) will give the maximum reimbursement.
I am sure that some abortions were being coded "D & C" as far back as the early 1960's, and probably in all 50 states.

Posted by: TeaPot562 at January 10, 2010 3:13 PM

What you describe is an ethical issue within the doctor's office/coding policy. I don't expect insurers to police that; I expect the doctor's office (especially post-Roe) to honestly code the procedure. A post-delivery complication should not be coded the same as an elective procedure, even if the same technique was used, since one was elective and one was not. I had a D&C for reasons other than the two you list and it should have been coded differently than an elective abortion.

Posted by: Cameron at January 11, 2010 10:09 AM