Religious liberty is expanding very quickly. I don’t even know if I can keep up.
We’ve gone from religious-affiliated entities (yesterday) to all businesses (today):
That means removing the provision from the health care law altogether, he said, not simply changing it for Catholic employers and their insurers. He cited the problem that would create for “good Catholic business people who can’t in good conscience cooperate with this.”
“If I quit this job and opened a Taco Bell, I’d be covered by the mandate,” Picarello said.
Now we’re just stripping out contraceptives completely, co-pay or no co-pay:
A new bill introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a rising conservative star and leading contender for the Republican vice-presidential nomination in 2012, could cut off birth control coverage for millions of women who receive it through their health plans.
Rubio has sold his proposal—introduced Jan. 31 as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” or S. 2043—as a way to counter President Barack Obama’s controversial rule requiring even religiously affiliated schools and universities to offer copay-free birth control to their employees. But health care experts say that its implications could be far broader.
If passed, the bill would allow any institution or corporation to cut off birth control coverage simply by citing religious grounds. It has 26 cosponsors in the Senate; a similar proposal sponsored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has 148 cosponsors in the House. On Wednesday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed to repeal Obama’s rule, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)pointed to Rubio’s bill as a potential model for doing so.
In English, this means that no entity has to cover birth control in a health plan if it can point to a religious reason for not doing so. And the entity itself is not required to have any religious affiliation. It could just be a plain old corporation. That means that if the middle-aged white guy who runs your company is religiously opposed to birth control, he can have it stripped out of your insurance plan—even if his Viagra is still covered. You could wake up the next morning and find you’re paying full price for drugs that you once got for free or at much-reduced prices.
“This could be huge,” says Judy Waxman, the vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center. “It’s clearly more than a million women who’d be affected if it were just hospitals and universities [that were affected], but under the Rubio bill it could be any employer. It could be millions.”
I don’t even know what to say. Obama is busy standardizing health insurance coverage for all, and conservatives are busy taking coverage from the women who have health insurance, or might ever have health insurance, sometime, in the distant future:
Obama’s health care bill included a massive expansion of Medicaid, but Rubio’s bill could allow governors who are opposed to birth control to deny it to Medicaid patients who were added to the program under Obama’s bill. All state Medicaid plans currently cover family planning, although the state is allowed to decide what that means. The Rubio bill would override that.
For years, liberals have been claiming that conservatives were ultimately targeting birth control, and conservatives always denied it. Marco Rubio has now all but announced that they are, in fact, targeting birth control.
Some enterprising journalist really, really needs to look into how this “firestorm” started, and what it’s really about, because it’s spreading very quickly.