Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rob McKenna on the Reproductive Parity Act: No

After Rob McKenna's rude interaction with Kendra Obom, we finally have an answer to Rob Mckenna's stance on the Reproductive Parity Act.
Mr. McKenna's Statement on the Reproductive Parity Act
 "I support our existing, voter-approved state law which guarantees women access to insurance coverage for reproductive healthcare, I do not support changing the law in a way that could put federal funding of women's healthcare at risk."

That means; no, he doesn't support the Reproductive Parity Act.  Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Naral Pro-Choice Washington issued this statement: (forwarded from Cienna Madrid at Slog the Stranger)

McKenna Issues Statement Full of False Claims Regarding Reproductive Parity Act

Concerns Addressed During Legislative Session


Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington are disappointed that Rob McKenna is misleading voters by making false statements about the Reproductive Parity Act. This legislation requires all health insurance policies sold in the state that cover maternity care to provide comparable coverage for abortion care.
McKenna falsely claimed today that the Reproductive Parity Act will “put federal funding of women’s health care at risk” by addressing the Weldon Amendment. However, if he read the current legislation he would see that the Weldon Amendment was raised during the legislative session and is fully addressed in the bill as it stands. Under the Weldon Amendment, states may not "discriminate" against providers who do not offer abortion services.
The Reproductive Parity Act has been drafted specifically to protect insurance carriers in the state of Washington against discrimination and will keep our state compliant with the federal requirements of the Weldon Amendment.  Every carrier currently selling in Washington covers abortion, and they have no objection to the RPA.  Washington has an existing conscience clause for new providers wishing to be admitted into the state that do not want to include abortion in any of their health plans.
In fact, pro-choice leaders Jay Inslee, then a Congressman in the 1st, and Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-7) and Adam Smith (D-9) already sent this letter that you can download here to President Obama addressing the Weldon Amendment and  supporting access to women’s health care coverage and the Reproductive Parity Act (HB 2330).
“The bill includes language that if the application of the Reproductive Parity Act results in non-compliance with Weldon, the requirement would be suspended for that health plan,” write Congressmen Inslee, McDermott and Smith.
“This is a red herring,” said Elaine Taylor Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest. “McKenna is attempting to dodge the issue by directing the media’s attention to a false claim, just as he dodged the question from a young voter who asked where he stands on the Reproductive Parity Act yesterday.”
The Reproductive Parity Act passed out of the House on February 13 and but got caught up in Senate budget negotiations and stalled there.
“The Reproductive Parity Act is critical because all women need and deserve access to health insurance coverage for basic reproductive health care, including abortion services,” said Jennifer N. Brown, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Executive Director. “Without the RPA, women in Washington risk losing access to the insurance coverage for abortion care they have today.”
Cienna Madrid perfectly summed up Rob McKenna on Slog:
So: Either McKenna is commenting on legislation he hasn't read, as the ladies politely suggest, making him a terrible AG (and gubernatorial candidate), or he's read the legislation, understand its effects, and chooses to misrepresent it.
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