Earlier this year,Â Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.) introduced an amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would allow an employer to deny health services if they conflict with their â€œreligious beliefs or moral convictions.â€
The amendment is here. (PDF)
The Blunt Amendment gives virtually limitless and unprecedented license to any employer or insurance plan, religious or not, to exclude any health service, no matter how essential, in the health services they cover.Â Throughout his proposed amendment to the health care law, the Blunt measure repeatedly calls for protectionâ€“in a single, repeated phraseâ€“for â€œreligious beliefs and moral convictions.â€ It specifically treats those as embraced within â€œthe rights of conscience.â€
For the most part this issue has centered around Abortion & Contraceptives yet, it is not explicit regarding those two issues. It is open-ended, allowing for any individual Employer who's â€œreligious beliefs and moral convictions & the rights of conscience.â€ forbids certain Medical procedures. Some examples are:
Jehovah's Witnesses won't allow blood transfusions
Christian Scientists believe "all is mind and there is no matter," death and sickness are only illusions, and that everything emanates from God and is perfect--healing comes from the true understanding of these doctrines.
Scientology opposes medical treatment for neurological disorders such as ADD, autism, and depression.
The Roman Catholic church is opposed to artificial methods of contraception.
Some conservative U.S. Christian groups oppose mandatory vaccination, SEE: The National Anti-Vaccination League
Some Religions either forbade or mandate circumcision of Male children. Others actually mandate circumcision of female children.
Now imagine that your employer is an adherent to any one of these Religions and is legally allowed to restrict your access to Blood Transfusions or is against vaccinations, either for children or adults. Take a look at the entire list of Religious opposition to certain medical procedures and then you find out your employer refuses to support Health Insurance which covers any of those medical decisions.
Imagine if the BLUNT Amendment allowed your employer to exclude coverage for neurological disorders such as ADD, autism, and depression.
These are but a few examples which could come to light if Legislation such as the BLUNT Amendment were enacted. And it doesn't stop with association with a Religion but, allows for the personal choices of the individual employer who might hold moral convictions & the rights of conscience on ANY matter to block their employees access to medical attention they may need.
Would you be comfortable if your Pharmacist doesn't believe in supplying a particular drug based upon their personal moral objections? Should a Pharmacist be able to decide to supply birth control only to married people? What if your employer opposes mandatory vaccination? That means you must pay out of your own pocket for the mandatory vaccinations necessary for your children to enter school.
Where will it all end? When did your employer receive authority to control your Health Care or even issues of your personal life? What if your employer were a Mormon, should they be allowed to refuseÂ to hire or fire you because you consume caffeine, alcohol or tobacco ?