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 »
You’ve probably read — on The Frisky or elsewhere — that religious employers are at odds with the Obama administration over the requirement, under the health care reform law, that insurers cover the cost of birth control if the employer itself — say, a Catholic school — refuses. These employers say it’s against their conscience to have insurers that cover birth control (despite the fact many do already, anyway). Now, someone cheeky over at the Tumblr for Obama’s reelection campaign mocked up this permission slip so employees can ask their bosses for permission to take contraception. Thankfully I work at The Frisky, where having lotsa sex and not getting preggo before you’re ready is encouraged! [BarackObama.Tumblr.com]
Last night on “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart was freaking hilarious in his coverage of last week’s anti-birth control sausagefest in Congress, in which a panel of all dudes tried to argue against President Obama’s health care reform compromise. Did you know these men mentioned “spiritual rape,” whatever that is, and Josef Stalin? When you have to invoke Stalin (or Hitler, or Mussolini, although let’s be honest, no one invokes Mussolini) into an argument to get people on board, you know you’re reaching. [The Daily Show]
Here’s a picture of the witness table at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is discussing access to contraception and comprehensive healthcare. Let’s play a quick game of “Count the uteruses,” shall we? Oh, right, there are none. At least there’s a second panel coming up, which will include … wait for it … four more men. Said Rep. Carolyn Maloney before walking out of the hearing in protest: “I look at this panel, and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?”
That’s a really excellent question. [Think Progress; Huffington Post; Maddow Blog]