Passage of MSPs required one other major finesse from Democrats on the Hill. In order to deal with the abortion coverage MSPs might provide, the law stipulated that each state must have at least two MSPs and that at least one of them must be a plan that confines its abortion coverage to situations defined by the Hyde Amendment, which are, to simplify a bit, cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is in danger. While the law provided no specific assurance that the other MSPs (one or possibly many more) would cover elective abortion, it has seemed clear from the start (and blisteringly obvious from observing its past patterns) that the Obama administration would ensure that abortion-covering state plans (let’s call them ASPs) would be available everywhere possible (especially inasmuch as the MSP program might ultimately prove a gateway to single-payer).
The only obstacle standing in the way of this is substantial, a separate provision of Obamacare that recognizes the right of the states to exclude ASPs from their exchanges. On the eve of opening the exchanges for consumers to choose a plan and gain a major tax break in 2014, where do MSPs stand?