HHS debate: responses from my REPUBLICAN senator
RESPONSE FROM MY REPUBLICAN SENATOR:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate and the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011. As you may know, I personally introduced this bill in the Senate on August 2, 2011 and led the fight on the Senate floor because I share your view that the United States government must respect the religious and moral beliefs of all Americans.
In August 2011, the Administration announced its decision to mandate that all insurance companies and employers cover contraception and controversial abortion drugs with no copay. This unprecedented decision is an affront to the deeply held convictions of millions of Americans, which is why I introduced legislation to repeal the mandate.
My legislation would simply preserve the fundamental religious freedoms that we enjoy today. The government should not force doctors to perform procedures or employers to provide coverage for services they view as immoral any more than the government should force treatments on Americans. For the first time in our history, the Obama Administration's health care mandate does just that and puts our nation's deep commitment to religious freedom in jeopardy. My bill would protect health care providers and insurers from being forced to violate their principles to provide products and services under ObamaCare, and would reaffirm all Americans' protections against discrimination, penalty, or exclusion from the health care market for exercising their rights of conscience.
On February 9, 2012, I offered the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act as an amendment to the Surface Transportation bill. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Reid and 50 other Senators voted to kill the amendment by tabling on March 1, 2012.
I am truly disappointed by the partisanship of this debate on religious freedoms. Instead of working to pass a bipartisan measure that has been part of our law for almost 40 years, this debate has been burdened by outlandish and divisive efforts to misinform and frighten Americans.
This fight is not over. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress to protect the Constitutional rights that make our nation great.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I look forward to continuing our conversation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SenatorBlunt) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/RoyBlunt) about the important issues facing Missouri and the country. I also encourage you to visit my website (blunt.senate.gov) to learn more about where I stand on the issues and sign-up for my e-newsletter.