Contraception Coverage and Freedom

Just to look at one small aspect of Americans’ liberties, here’s an item: mandated coverage of women’s contraception.

Senator Roy Blunt’s (R, MO) amendment was an attempt to restore a measure of liberty; a copy is here;  it said, in part [emphasis added]

(E) While PPACA provides an exemption for some religious groups that object to participation in Government health programs generally, it does not allow purchasers, plan sponsors, and other stakeholders with religious or moral objections to specific items or services to decline providing or obtaining coverage of such items or services, or allow health care providers with such objections to decline to provide them.

It also says

(A) FOR HEALTH PLANS.—A health plan shall not be considered to have failed…on the basis that it declines to provide coverage of specific items or services because—(i) providing coverage (or, in the case of a sponsor of a group health plan, paying for coverage) of such specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan; or (ii) such coverage (in the case of individual coverage) is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage.

The measure was voted down in the Senate on Thursday by a nearly straight party-line vote of 51-48.  In the run-up to the vote, Senate Democrats had cast it as an attempt to limit women’s access to birth control.  They also had claimed

[T]he bill is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and may allow employers to exclude coverage for any conditions they find religiously or morally objectionable.

They say this could become a slippery slope, resulting in the exclusion of coverage for HIV & AIDS, mental health, hemophilia, STD’s and more

The Obama administration blasted Blunt’s amendment in a press release Wednesday, saying the president’s supporters need to “stand for a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.”

I certainly hope the amendment, had it passed, would have allowed exclusion—or a decision not to purchase—for “and conditions” that are “religiously or morally objectionable.”  This is an area in which our Constitution, so routinely disregarded by the Progressive administration, explicitly barred the Federal government from entering.  Furthermore, aside from the freedom of choice issues related to mandating coverage—and so paying for this coverage when it’s unwanted or unneeded—and the ludicrous “essential health benefits” aspects of contraception, what religious or moral grounds would be cited?  The Progressives have carefully declined to offer any examples.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D, NJ) was especially disingenuous in his argument against this amendment.

I don’t want Republican politicians making decisions about my family’s health care.  Women are capable of making their own health-care decisions.

Except, no, they’re not.  Not after Lautenberg got his way: their decision is thrust upon them by this Progressive and his fellows.  Senator Lautenberg and the Federal government now will make health-care decisions in lieu of them.  Obama claimed to “stand for a woman’s right to make her own health decisions,” but with this vote, women are not allowed to decline to purchase a health-care service they do not want or will not use or find morally or religiously objectionable.  They must buy.  They cannot make their own health decision.  Read again the Section E quoted at the start.  See the freedom of choice that the Progressives voted down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *