Big Surprise, Tennessee
The Tennessee legislature is back in session. So, no surprise that somebody filed an abortion-related bill.
SB 2687 / HB 2680 – from Diane Black and Matthew Hill, both Republican
SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 56, is amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated section:
No qualified health plan established in this state through an American Health Benefit Exchange or Small Business Health Options Program (known as a SHOP Exchange) pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act shall offer coverage for abortion services. For purposes of this section, “abortion” has the same meaning as defined in § 39-15-201.
So, on the off chance that federal health reform legislation doesn’t include a bunch of on-top-of-Hyde restrictions on abortion coverage, or if the option is left to the states, Tennessee wants to make sure it’s excluded. Just in case.
Meanwhile, go see Aunt B’s post on how the Tennessee Democratic Party is wasting time and money making up songs about Sarah Palin, and alienating people with mental health disabilities in the process – “it’s deeply problematic and deeply disappointing to see the Tennessee Democratic Party raising money by mocking politicians for being crazy.”
Added: I poked around in the newly introduced bills a bit more, and found one other bill of interest:
SB 2732 from Andy Berke, Democrat [this is a good one]:
SECTION 1. The commissioner of health is directed to develop a plan to ensure that ninety percent (90%) of pregnant women in this state will have access to appropriate prenatal care during the first trimester of the pregnancy as soon as is reasonably possible. The commissioner shall develop this plan and present it and any related legislative and budgetary recommendations to the house health and human resources committee and the senate general welfare, health and human resources committee on or before February 1, 2011. In developing this plan the commissioner shall examine the availability of federal resources for attaining the goal of the plan and shall also consult with the bureau of the TennCare and the department of commerce and insurance.
Of course, if you’re really bored, check out the “Ice Cream Truck Worker Registration Act,” which kind of seems like a good idea based only on my general sense that ice cream trucks are creepy.