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Berniecare and the Hyde Amendment: The End of Affordable Abortion Services for Poor and Middle Class Working Women Yesterday, Richard Mayhew at Balloon Juice noted that Sanders' plan leaves the federal law status quo intact with respect to federal funding of abortions. A long standing legal principle attached to many pieces of existing legislation is the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortions except in case of rape or a threat to the mother's life. Leaving this restriction is particularly troubling under a single-payer system. Sen. Sanders would prohibit the sale of private health insurance that duplicates any benefit of the his proposed federal program, and the likelihood that insurance companies would stick around just to sell abortion insurance is slimmer than that of Donald Trump falling in love with Mexicans. Hitting poor women the hardest The Hyde Amendment's mesh with a single payer system would mean that no woman in America would have insurance coverage for abortion. The consequences would hit poor women the hardest (as is becoming usual for Bernie's brand of "progressivism"). Although a majority of abortions are currently paid for out-of-pocket, fully 20% of all abortions are paid for by state Medicaid funds in the 17 states they are available, and 92% of women on Medicaid in those states seeking abortion services use such funding. Since Sanders would take away federal Medicaid funds as it would be channeled instead to his federally administered single-payer plan, states can hardly be expected to maintain an entire program on their own just to pay for abortion services. Effectively, under Bernie's plan, affordable access to abortion for poor women would end, achieving an important policy goal of right wing religious extremists.