Everyone’s mentioned the religion vs. pluralism take on the birth control debate, but there’s also a strong “employer vs. employee” dynamic. Republicans know which side of that divide they fall on, so it’s no surprise they just want to let employers go off and do whatever they want and make everyone else suffer the consequences, because it’s not like employees donate to their campaigns.
But Blunt’s proposal doesn’t just apply to religious employers and birth control. Instead, it would allow any insurer or employer, religiously affiliated or otherwise, to opt out of providing any health care services required by federal law—everything from maternity care to screening for diabetes. Employers wouldn’t have to cite religious reasons for their decision; they could just say the treatment goes against their moral convictions. That exception could include almost anything—an employer could theoretically claim a “moral objection” to the cost of providing a given benefit. The bill would also allow employers to sue if state or federal regulators try to make them comply with the law.