RNC Planning Immediate Review of Its Abortion Coverage

ABC News’ Teddy Davis reports:

Ken McKay, the chief of staff of the Republican National Committee, has prepared a memo to the 27 members of the RNC’s executive committee informing them that RNC Chairman Michael Steele has called for an immediate review of the elective abortion coverage contained in the RNC’s health insurance policy.

“I can assure you that the Chairman takes this issue very seriously,” writes McKay.

Cigna offers its customers the opportunity to opt out of abortion coverage but the RNC chose not to opt out in 1991. The RNC’s current leadership says that it was not previously aware of the abortion coverage under its Cigna plan until a Politico reporter contacted the press office on Wednesday .

Even though the decision to include an abortion service was made 18 years before Steele took the party reins, the abortion issue is a politically sensitive one for him because although he describes himself as pro-life, he parts with some fellow Republicans by believing that the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision upholding a federal right to abortion should be left in place under the principle of stare decisis.

No date has yet been set for the abortion review but McKay’s memo calls for it to take place in “the immediate future” as part of a broader review of the RNC’s health insurance policy.

McKay’s memo gets in a jab at Cigna, saying that “much of the information” on the RNC’s policy was provided by Cigna.

The executive committee is the body responsible for deciding the content of the RNC’s health insurance policy.

Read more coverage from ABC News HERE .

See below for the memo from RNC chief of staff Ken McKay to the RNC’s executive committee:


Members of the Republican National Committee:

On Wednesday morning, the RNC’s Press Office received a phone call from a reporter asking questions about the health care policy the RNC offers employees through Cigna, and specifically whether or not our plan covers elective abortion procedures for our employees. Upon learning of this story, at the Chairman’s direction, we immediately contacted the Executive Committee. The story was published this afternoon with much of the information on our policy being provided by Cigna. We will be scheduling a call with the Executive Committee in the immediate future to discuss this matter more fully.

Our current insurance plan was put in place in 1991. Chairman Steele had already called for an official review of our health insurance policy along with a number of other operational items. The review of our health insurance policy has been underway for some time and that review continues. I can assure you that the Chairman takes this issue very seriously. The Chairman began travelling to state party events on Wednesday evening this week and will be out of the office attending party building events until Saturday evening. He has been engaged by phone on this issue. In accordance with Chairman Steele’s instructions we will update you and discuss the steps we are taking to address this issue.


Ken McKay


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