Vote on Blunt Amendment Expected Soon

The proposed amendment from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would allow employers to have broad “moral” control over health benefits may come up for a vote as early as Thursday, according to sources on the Hill.

The “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” was spurred by the fight over contraception coverage, but it would grant employers significant discretion in deciding what kind of health care they want to provide workers. That could include things like maternity care, screening for diabetes, or HIV testing, as my colleague Adam Serwer reported earlier this month. The measure is expected to come up as an amendment to the transportation bill.

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats circulated data from the Department of Health and Human Services indicating that 20.4 million women around the country are already benefiting from the preventative health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—the measure that spurred the Blunt amendment.

Meanwhile, over at RH Reality Check, Annamarya Scaccia has an interesting analysis of whether the measure is constitutional.


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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.