|Contraceptive use among women|
99% of women who have been sexually active have used birth control. And contrary to Rick Santorum and other clueless Republicans, birth control is not cheap. But for them, denying women contraceptive coverage at religious-affiliated institutions is a perfectly acceptable cudgel with which to knock a few more dents into President Obama's health care reform law. So, Republicans accuse Democrats of waging a war on religion and skewer Obama's "compromise" whereby religious institutions would not even have to provide contraceptive coverage to employees because insurers would do so directly -- a compromise that a majority of Catholic voters support and that major Catholic organizations favor.
But that's not all. As Laura Clawson reports, "Republicans are now pushing for an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that would allow employers to deny coverage not just for contraception but for any treatment or any condition they claimed was contrary to their religious beliefs."
Got that? Any employer would be able to deny any health care service on religious grounds.
Igor Volsky at ThinkProgress explains:
Under the measure, an insurer or an employer would be able to claim a moral or religious objection to covering HIV/AIDS screenings, Type 2 Diabetes treatments, cancer tests or anything else they deem inappropriate or the result of an “unhealthy” or “immoral” lifestyle. Similarly, a health plan could refuse to cover mental health care on the grounds that the plan believes that psychiatric problems should be treated with prayer.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claims this isn't about contraception but about freedom of religion: "You can’t miss it — right there in the very first amendment to our Constitution,” McConnell said. “What the overall view on the issue of contraception is has nothing to do with an issue about religious freedom.”
Of course, this isn't about religious freedom either. It is about gutting health care reform and scoring cheap political points. Women's health be damned.