Fimian and abortion
I went to the homeowner’s association meeting tonight and, as is their custom, a number of politicians and their representatives were invited to speak. Connolly and Fimian were both at a previously scheduled event, but they both sent people to speak on their behalf. Connolly’s representative did a generally solid job, though he went on for too long. Fimian’s representative was a young man, perhaps 20 years old, who began his speech by admitting that he usually spoke to groups of high school student and this was a step up for him. It was pretty painful listening to him, as basically the entire pitch was that Fimian’s not a Washington insider and he knows what it’s like to be us. Since we had just recognized Tom Davis for his years of service to the district, this was perhaps not the best note to hit.
At the question and answer period, one of my neighbors tossed him a bit of a softball, asking about the mailings that she’d been getting about Fimian, and weren’t they just accusing him of being Catholic? (Note that Connally is also Catholic.) He responded with a long answer about how they were making these accusations based on links on the Legatus website, even though the webpage includes a disclaimer that they didn’t constitute an endorsement.
Well, this ticked me off, because it sounded to me like Fimian was trying to hide his strong social conservative positions. So I asked him about the info from Left of the Hill, that Fimian’s company amended its health insurance plan to exclude coverage of abortion, even in cases where the health or life of the mother was at risk. (I found this via Anonymous is a Woman.) The speaker had no idea, and so we moved on, but I found myself arguing with my neighbor about how common this is.
When I got home, I started googling, and I found this 2003 Kaiser Family Foundation survey that found that 46 percent of firms that provided health insurance included abortion coverage. (I checked, and while KFF conducts this survey every year, they seem to have dropped the question about abortion coverage.) Large employers were far more likely to provide abortion coverage than small ones. Interestingly, 26% percent of employers did not know whether their insurance plan covered abortion, which makes me think that this is usually a cost-cutting provision rather than an ideological one.
What I can’t tell from this is whether plans that don’t cover abortion generally have life and health of the mother exceptions. I can’t find this online — anyone have a source? Or, if your plan doesn’t cover abortion, can you look it up in your benefits handbook?