The Blunt Amendment to the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S 1467) would amend the Obama Health Care Law, to prevent the imposition of regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance.
In 2009, when health care legislation was pending in the Senate, National Right to Life warned: "Preventive health services" provision would empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to mandate coverage of any medical service, including abortion, merely by adding the service to a fluid list. Predictably, the Administration has begun with a degree covering all FDA approved birth-control methods - a mandate that, unless overturned, will produce an irreconcilable conflict between conscience and the coercive force of government for many employers. This is not a debate only about the specific parameters of the birth-control mandate. Exactly the same statutory authority could be used by the Secretary next year, or the year after that, to mandate that all health plans pay for elective abortion on demand.
This concern is underscored by the rationale that the Obama Administration offered, as part of its' so-called "accommodations", under which certain insurers will be directly required to offer coverage of birth-control methods without co-payments, while forbidden to charge anything extra for this option. The White House argued that the expanded use of birth-control will save any health-plan money, and therefore nobody is really paying for it. By the same twisted logic, the Administration could justify the future abortion mandate: by ordering health-care plans to cover elective abortion, health plans would save the much higher cost of prenatal care, child-birth and care for the baby.
The Blunt Amendment goes to the heart of the problem by amending the Obama Care Law itself, to prevent provisions of the law from being used as a basis for regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral or convictions of those that purchase or provide health care insurance. A vote against this amendment is in effect, a vote to allow just such mandates.
ACTION: Call your U.S. Senators and urge them to vote Yes on the Blunt Amendment to the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S 1467). A Vote is expected this week. So don't delay.