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Why the Blunt amendment is so bad

March 1, 2012, 10:39 am | Posted by Kristin Ford

Roy BluntThe Senate is slated to vote today on the controversial Blunt amendment, which several Republican senators either oppose or are undecided on and which Mitt Romney weighed in on yesterday.  The Blunt amendment, which Dan deftly took down earlier this month, would allow employers to deny employees any medical treatment or service they object to for any moral reason.

The concept of putting an employer between an individual and his or her doctor is about much more than contraception– this is about giving employers veto power over the health and well-being of their employees.

Prominent faith groups, including the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, the United Methodist Church and the Union for Reform Judaism among others, have all spoken out to oppose the measure, saying ” the Blunt amendment would eviscerate critical protections in the Affordable Care Act and completely undermine a fundamental principle of the health care law—that everyone in this country deserves a basic standard of health insurance coverage.”

Unfortunately, other religious organizations are weighing in with ad campaigns and public statements endorsing the proposed amendment under the guise of religious liberty.  Catholic Advocate PAC, a conservative Catholic outfit that has financially supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (who has sponsored his own similar amendment), has a new video ad out.

The ad focuses solely on the recent accommodation to the HHS ruling on contraception coverage, without mentioning the litany of other medical procedures the Blunt amendment could effect.  It also conveniently neglects to clarify that the HHS exemption is for religiously based employers (churches, dioceses, and with the accommodation, religious hospitals, social service providers, and universities) and the Blunt amendment would allow any employer (from an insurance agent to a Taco Bell franchise owner to an investment banker) to deny medical coverage to their employees for almost any reason.

The Blunt amendment is an extreme attempt to dismantle critical protections under the Affordable Care Act. Well-meaning religious groups convinced to support it as a remedy to their misguided concerns about the religious accommodation are missing the forest for the trees.

It’s heartening to see faith groups and a host of other organizations taking a stand and reminding lawmakers that religious liberty and health care shouldn’t be pitted against one another.

2 Responses to “Why the Blunt amendment is so bad”

  1. James McParland says:

    i oppose the Blunt Amendment because I want federal bureaucrats in Washington D.C. to decide what medical care we deserve and how much I will pay for it and how much money I will be forced to kick in for others to get the same fair benefits. The federal government does such a fine job of deciding what is good and bad, moral and immoral, I want professional politicians o set my standards of personal behavior and regulate what I and my church and my insurance company are allowed to do. Our society and our culture will be so much better off when Kathleen Sebelius is in charge of my health and happiness, because she is such a caring person. I can hardly wait for the day when every person in the country is exactly equal to every other person in every single way, and we all have the same clothes and federally-approved genes and we all get the same paychecks working for HHS or another wonderful federal agency and someone tells us what we can eat for lunch and dinner. Sounds like heaven!

  2. Granny Tenderstone says:

    It’s amazing how few people want to recognize or admit recognizing that health care has become nothing but another opportunistic pursuit for the greedy. It’s morally wrong for third parties (insurers) to profit, because that’s the ONLY reason they exist. They care not how or if health care is delivered, they can deny any claim at their whim anytime, and they wouldn’t even continue being in business if it didIn’t suit their ultimate objective of ripping off the public. Single Payer will be the law of the land, the ACA is only the first step toward that, a compromise that had to be made in order to get sanity involved in the equation. The amount of money wasted on enriching insurers could be put to PROVIDING medical care, not REDUCING medical care, which is just what those greedy bums do. They don’t care who is sick, who lives or dies, and they only care about how much they own so they can brag to their buddies how they just got to the next level of the millionaires club, then the billionaires club, etc. etc. Their entire lives are wrapped around oneupmanship, and keeping up with the Rockefellers. IT’S WRONG, morally wrong. It’s also UNCHRISTIAN and UNAMERICAN. We spend more than any nation on health care and rank behind the nation of Slovenia as to efficiency in using those revenues, because of the middle men. IT WILL END, so people might as well wake up NOW.