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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

July 9, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Democrats in both chambers today introduced legislation they say would counter the effects on contraceptive coverage from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.

Sponsors say the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act would “restore the original legal guarantee that women have access to contraceptive coverage through their employment-based insurance plans and will protect coverage of other health services from employer interference as well.”

The bill states that coverage is guaranteed by federal law through the Affordable Care Act, and states that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not permit employers to refuse to comply with the Obamacare requirement.

It would ban employers from refusing to provide any facet of healthcare coverage “guaranteed to their employees and dependents under federal law.”

It includes the administration’s accommodation compromise for religious nonprofits and house of worship, which is separately being challenged in court.

The Senate version was introduced by Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.). A companion bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.).

“After five justices decided last week that an employer’s personal views can interfere with women’s access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong,” said Murray. “This bicameral legislation will ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to health care, period. I hope Republicans will join us to revoke this court-issued license to discriminate and return the right of Americans to make their own decisions, about their own health care and their own bodies.”

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, praised the bill as congressional action  “to fix the damage done by the Supreme Court’s decision.”

“The Supreme Court last week opened the door to a wide range of discrimination and denial of services. This bill would help close the door for denying contraception before more corporations can walk through it,” she said.

Vulnerable Democrats co-sponsoring the bill in the upper chamber include Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and John Walsh (D-Mont.).

However, Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are not original co-sponsors.

Begich stood with Murray and Udall at today’s press conference as the bill was introduced.

“Last week’s Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby case was startling news for Alaska women, who don’t want their boss preventing access to birth control. Not only does this impact a woman’s personal healthcare choices, but this is an economic issue for Alaska families,” said Begich. “Because of the Hobby Lobby case, more than 60,000 Alaska women could be denied access to birth control and reproductive care.  This bill will make sure that these types of health care decisions stay between a woman and her doctor – not her boss.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
"This bill will make sure that these types of health care decisions stay between a woman and her doctor – not her boss"

Then don't make your boss step in to pay for "these types of...decisions".

"...return the right of Americans to make their own decisions, about their own health care and their own bodies"

--but apparently withhold the right of Americans to pay for their own decisions--not someone else's decisions.

Can they not hear themselves?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
We need to introduce the opposite legislation: allow employer to omit any mandate or requirement in Obamacare and be exempt from all statewide mandates. This gives employers complete freedom to decide on the healthcare package. Employees should be allowed to add options at their own cost.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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“Because of the Hobby Lobby case, more than 60,000 Alaska women could be denied access to birth control and reproductive care."

Which Alaska women? Which Alaska businesses are going to deny women access to birth control? The closest Hobby Lobby store to Alaska is in Mt. Vernon, Washington.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Damn Kulaks!
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...this is an economic issue for Alaska families,” said Begich. “Because of the Hobby Lobby case, more than 60,000 Alaska women could be denied access to birth control and reproductive care."

Who actually believes this crap? Is he actually claiming that he has 60 thousand female constituents who are a) having unwanted unprotected sex and b) can't fork out $7 a month for their own birth control? Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his state if true, but I gather that figure is about as truthful as the tooth fairy.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
I could be wrong, but doesn't the PPACA law state that the coverage requirements (and many other aspects of it) are largely whatever the Secretary of HHS says they are. Hatchet face could have said every woman gets a free unicorn, and that would be the law.

So, the next administration's secretary subsequently remove coverage requirements, or (shudder) increase them substantially?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wasn't there some kind of deal back when that stated birth control would not be part of ACA, and it was Bart Stupack (?) who was the final vote based on that prevarication?
A promise is a promise.

You can keep your healthcare. You can keep your doctor. The average premium will decrease by $2500.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I remember correctly, "The One they were waiting for" signed an executive order assuring that no federal funds would be used to pay for abortion coverage. I believe that this was an accommodation to garner Stupak's and a few other "pro life" Democrat's (rare and exotic birds) votes for this monstrosity. Which begs the question in my mind as to why Obama wasn't accused of, "with the stroke of a pen, denying access to a medical procedure vital to the reproductive health of women"?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why doesn't every Dem in government pay for those poor souls that need it. So we can move to more important things.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
The law as written guaranteed no such thing. This was just HHS administrative declarations after the fact. This is Congress creating a black and white legal precedent that Congress writes broad platitudes and forks over money, and the Executive Branch writes the real law later.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Like I said, they're blinkered idiots. I would wager that they really don't know that this was not in the original ACA that they voted for without knowing what was in it.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Time for Colorado to vote these folks out.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
What phony outrage from the D side of the aisle! They might start the fight with majority America but I bet a nickel none of today's bold spokespeople will prevail. Who knows, maybe the voters of their states will fire them at the next election opportunity.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, and the Constitution be damned.
Take that, bitter clingers!

Where's that beating-head-against-wall emoticon?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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