Though now taken off the table thanks to a few votes, the Blunt Amendment stood to reduce quality health care coverage for all US citizens as enacted by the Affordable Care Act. Support for the Blunt Amendment has focused on birth control coverage mandates for Catholic and other Christian fundamentalist employers. The amendment, however, does not limit birth control coverage, only. This amendment limits anything that "is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage." Make no mistake, this amendment is a Pandora's Box. As written, the amendment allows employers to opt out of health care insurance coverage for its employees based on a personal belief system. While this particular bill was touted as a means to eliminate mandatory birth control coverage, it had much further reaching implications. The amendment granted an employer the power to reject coverage based on any belief system, real or fabricated. Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Wicca, Scientology, and so on are but a few highly varied belief systems an employer could impose on coverage limits. A cancer patient might be told to forgo chemotherapy and instead meditate. A child with debilitating asthma might be refused medications and instead, told to seek an acupuncturist. On March 1, 2012, Senator Casey broke away from his Democratic party and voted to support advancement on the Blunt Amendment. We, the people of Pennsylvania, call for Senator Casey to attend the April 28, 2012 event in Harrisburg, PA to explain his vote on the Blunt Amendment.
The original amendment text can be found here: http://bit.ly/zKkfZO
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MaryEllen Davidson, Reading, PA, United States2 years ago
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