Thursday, March 01, 2012

Blunting the Blunt Amendment

This is good news:
The Senate voted 51-48 Thursday to set aside a measure letting employers omit insurance coverage for health services they find morally objectionable, part of a fiery debate that is reshaping the presidential race and congressional campaigning.
Democrats argued that the amendment, sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) would allow employers to refuse coverage for any service they dislike, including vaccinations, mammograms and drug treatment.


Republicans said the issue was religious freedom. The Blunt Amendment, they said, would have carved out a so-called conscience exemption to a new requirement under President Barack Obama's health law that all health plans cover an array of treatments, including contraception, at no additional cost to workers.
What's great about that amendment is that it would have given all employers the legal right to figure out how various treatments might offend them morally and then just not cover them. As I wrote earlier, a Christian Scientist employer could refuse all health insurance which covers conventional medical services! Imagine the savings! Worth becoming a Christian Scientist for that.

But the politicians who supported the Blunt amendment did not see it that way at all. For them it was all about the harlots:
The only Republican to oppose the Blunt Amendment was Olympia Snowe of Maine, who announced her retirement this week. Three socially conservative Democrats supported it: Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.