Earlier today, the Senate narrowly defeated a proposal called the Blunt Amendment that would have allowed employers and health care insurers to opt out of paying for birth control (and other medical services) if it is contrary to their religious beliefs. The vote was 51 to 48, with Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine the sole Republican to support it.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) proposed this amendment in response to the Obama administration’s decision that if a religiously affiliated employer refuses to cover the cost the cost of birth control, the tab must be picked up by the insurer. Democrats countered that Obama’s compromise should suffice and that the Blunt amendment would give employers power to make medical decisions for their employees. Keep reading »