Senator Roy Blunt's Amendment (S.AMEND 1520 to S.1813) is clear in that it allows Employers to Deny Health "Services" to anyone they please so long as the Denier (Employer) of Health Services feels that to grant "PROVIDING COVERAGE IS CONTRARY TO MORAL CONVICTIONS of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan [Employer]."
Notice Senator Blunt's Amendment goes beyond the age-old "Religious Freedom" argument to deny groups of people services by including a person's "Moral Conviction" as an excuse to discriminate against groups of people.
Senator Blunt, and his 19 co-sponsors, are pretending that a persons' "Moral Conviction" is a Constitutional right to deny groups of people services ... but as seen in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, "Moral Conviction" to discriminate is not Constitutional Protected.
Senator Roy Blunt's Amendment would make the following legal:
....... IF: An employer thinks "Providing Coverage" for: Jews, Catholics, Childhood Vaccines, Evangelicals, Women, Men, Elderly etc is "Contrary To Their Moral Conviction"
....... THEN: The employer can deny coverage to those groups ... while at the same time, provide coverage to other employees of whom they like.
Bottom Line: Sen. Roy Blunt's Amendment, that 19 co-sponsors and Rep. Eric Cantor(R-Va) support, would make the 1965 Civil Rights Act null and void and employers would be legally allowed to deny Jews, Catholics etc Health Services ... and would be legally allowed to DENY Childhood Vaccines as being covered in Health Services.
Excerpts From Senator Roy Blunt's Amendment:
"A health plan shall not be considered to have failed to provide the essential health benefits package described in subsection (a) to fail to be a qualified health plan, or to fail to fulfill ANY OTHER requirement under this title on the basis that it declines to provide coverage of specific items OR SERVICES because:
‘‘(i) PROVIDING COVERAGE (or, in the case of a sponsor of a group health plan, paying for coverage) of such IS CONTRARY TO the religious beliefs OR MORAL CONVICTIONS of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan; or
"(ii) SUCH COVERAGE (in the case of individual coverage) IS CONTRARY to the religious beliefs OR MORAL CONVICTIONS of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage.
"(C) Until enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148, in this section referred to as ``PPACA''), the Federal Government has not sought to impose specific coverage or care requirements that infringe on the rights of conscience of insurers, purchasers of insurance, plan sponsors, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, such as individual or institutional health care providers."
(end of excerpts)
Keywords in items (i) and (ii): "Or Services" ... "Is contrary to ... OR Moral Conviction" ... Not just "Religious Beliefs" but also "OR Moral Conviction"
Senator Blunt and his 19 co-sponsors are reviving the oppositions arguement of the 1964 Civil Rights Act regarding moral conviction and individual liberty to discriminate.
Item (C) is simply 100% false. For decades, the federal government has mandated that employers who provide coverage and/or care requirement to their employees do so in a non-discriminatory manner.
1) For decades, if an employer thinks it is contrary to his "Moral Conviction" and/or "Religious belief" for a person to take addictive narcotics ... the employers Health Plan may NOT Deny coverage for addictive narcotic medication prescribed to patients in hospitals.
2) For decades, if an employer thinks providing coverage to Jews or Catholics is contrary to his "Moral Conviction" and/or contrary to his "Religious belief" that employer has NOT been legally allowed to Deny Jews or Catholics Health Services if they offer ALL their other employees Health Services.
3) In 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed into law: Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act which mandated hospitals provide care to anyone needing emergency health services treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status, religion, gender or ability to pay.
Reagan's 1986 Law also mandates that: Inpatient care provided must be at an equal level for ALL patients and hospitals may not discharge a patient prior to stabilization if the patient's insurance is canceled or otherwise discontinues payment during course of stay.
4) Let's not forget about the Civil Rights Bill denying employers their "Moral Conviction" and/or their "Religious belief" to discriminate against groups of people.
5) For decades, employers who provided family Health Service Coverage were NOT allowed to DENY childhood vaccines from being covered.
As of Sunday, February 11, 2012, The 19 Co-Sponsors of Senator Roy Blunt's (R) Amendment are:
Sen McConnell, Mitch [R-KY]
Sen Johanns, Mike [R-NE]
Sen Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS]
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [R-UT]
Sen Ayotte, Kelly [R-NH]
Sen Rubio, Marco [R-FL]
Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [D-NE]
Sen Roberts, Pat [R-KS]
Sen McCain, John [R-AZ]
Sen Kyl, Jon [R-AZ]
Sen Coats, Daniel [R-IN]
Sen Barrasso, John [R-WY]
Sen Toomey, Pat [R-PA]
Sen Lugar, Richard G. [R-IN]
Sen Cornyn, John [R-TX]
Sen Boozman, John [R-AR]
Sen Paul, Rand [R-KY]
Sen Hoeven, John [R-ND], and
Sen Graham, Lindsey [R-SC]
UPDATE: Sen Scott P Brown [R-MA] and Sen Richard Shelby [R-AL] are now co-sponsors of the Blunt Amendment.
House Repulican Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) also support the Blunt Amendment.
House Republican Leader Eric Cantor has tweeted his support for Roy Blunt's Amendment.
"I stand with @RoyBlunt and @MarcoRubio in their efforts to offer a religious freedom amendment. Why is @SenatorReid standing in the way?" ~Eric Cantor Tweet, 2/9/2012
Senator Blunt said his Amendment is to "ensure that health care stakeholders retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions”
Senator Mitch McConnell said, "This is about freedom of religion, it’s right there in the First Amendment."
Senator Marco Rubio said, "Well, you know what it is, it's a constitutional issue. It is very simple. This is a straightforward concept. It's not about medicine."
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wi) said, "There are enough votes in the Republican controlled House to pass similar legislation."
Seems Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Roy Blunt, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and the 17 other co-sponsors falsely think that any person who has a "Moral Conviction" to discriminate against a group of people is protected under the First Amendment under the guise of "Religious Freedom" ... they couldn't be more wrong.
For the record, Cantor, Ryan, Blunt, McConnell, Rubio, and the 17 other co-sponsors must have missed the part of history where it became contitutionally illegal for an employer, regardless of their religion, to discriminate against groups of people.
Congress must STOP Senator Roy Blunt's Amendment Allowing Employers To Deny Health Plans To Jews & Catholics.
UPDATE: Congress Just Defeated the Blunt Amendment - but keep signing this petition so Blunt and his GOP brethren can see we are fed up with their bigoty toward women and minorities.