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The GOP Endgame On Birth Control Is Just The Beginning

There’s a method to this madness.

MoJo’s Nick Baumann puts the various GOP birth control freakout stories in perspective as he catches “moderate” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida dropping this bombshell of a bill: the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

What does it do?  Why, it ends birth control insurance coverage for women, of course.

Rubio has sold his proposal—introduced Jan. 31 as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” or S. 2043—as a way to counter President Barack Obama’s controversial rule requiring even religiously affiliated schools and universities to offer copay-free birth control to their employees. But health care experts say that its implications could be far broader.

If passed, the bill would allow any institution or corporation to cut off birth control coverage simply by citing religious grounds. (You can read the bill here or in the DocumentCloud embed below.) It has 26 cosponsors in the Senate; a similar proposal sponsored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has 148 cosponsors in the House. On Wednesday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed to repeal Obama’s rule, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed to Rubio’s bill as a potential model for doing so.

In English, this means that no entity has to cover birth control in a health plan if it can point to a religious reason for not doing so. And the entity itself is not required to have any religious affiliation. It could just be a plain old corporation. That means that if the middle-aged white guy who runs your company is religiously opposed to birth control, he can have it stripped out of your insurance plan—even if his Viagra is still covered. You could wake up the next morning and find you’re paying full price for drugs that you once got for free or at much-reduced prices.

Endgame.  As I said earlier this morning, guess what the price of President Obama’s payroll tax cut extension will be?

Within about a week, we’ve gone from a measure that Republicans supported in 2004 on birth control to now basically the end of birth control being covered by employee health plans.  And I expect this will only be the first of as many poison pill/hostage crises as the Republicans can jam into the Affordable Care Act as they can.

They were never going to repeal “Obamacare”, they were going to make it so awful that the American people would demand the old broken system back.  Getting rid of employee birth control coverage is just the start.

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13 Responses to The GOP Endgame On Birth Control Is Just The Beginning

  1. This is just disgusting. Once again, women are being made into political footballs by the radical right. And once again, the same old media pundits are cheering them on. If someone hates contraception so much, then don’t use it… But don’t stop women from making their own health care decisions.

  2. I am so damned sick of the “religious right” (so called) dictating to me that I must live by THEIR choices instead of being allowed to make my own.

    No sooner is one thing dealt with than three others have popped up in its place. It’s like trying to converse with my 13 yr old son who knew everything and was sooo very surprised that we’d managed to live as long as we had without his telling what the “right way” was. (He did outgrow that, thank gawd, and now has his own kids. I can’t wait until those boys reach puberty, tho – bwaahahaha)

    Meanwhile, I wouldn’t take that crap from my kid and I don’t intend to take it from some ol’ fat cat with delusions of godhood! Geez!

  3. Yep, should have seen this coming.

  4. That Guy With The Ponytail

    Does Harry Reid have enough sense remaining in his approaching senility to let this die in committee in the Senate?

    • He had the sense to do the same to those bogus 27 “job-creating” bills the GOP House tried to pass. Hopefully, he’ll do the same here.

    • Die in committee? Why would he do that?

      I think he’s more likely to bring in extra cameras for the floor debates. The Republicans just served up a giant hanging curve ball. People hate this.

      • That Guy With The Ponytail

        If, and only if, there is enough organization shaping up against it.

        I’m not talking petitions.

        (Know what you get when you turn a petition over?

        Scratch paper.)

        I’m not talking emails.

        Too easy, too easy to ignore.

        I’m talking faxes, phone calls, and written letters. From individuals, not following scripts, just voicing opposition.

        And as a guy, allying myself with such efforts as I do, the voices of this opposition primarily need to be women’s voices.

        Lots of women’s voices, from every quarter.

        Half the nation, half the electorate. Numbers too big to ignore in ways Helen Reddy could only fantasize about!

        That’s how it has to happen.

  5. Is it just me or does anybody else just want to smack these self-righteous, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, “arbiters of public decency” right upside their collective heads? I mean, enough is enough! It’s okay for you to not like what you do not like, but please don’t force rules governing what you do not like on the rest of us who practice critical thinking, who aren’t repressed, or living in Fantasyland, or pretending not to know something, or imaging that some Big Old Meanie Living in the Sky is going to condemn us for ALL eternity for all the piddly little shenanigans we did during our seventy-five or so years here on planet Earth!

  6. I absolutely do not understand why the insurance lobby hasn’t thrown one very big, very public blanket party for all of these misogynists. Insurance companies LOVE not having to pay claims, and contraceptives are a cheap and easy way for them to save shitloads of cash. I can only assume from the lack of public smackdowns that the insurance industry is entirely confident this shitshow will go precisely nowhere.

  7. And in other, somewhat related news, the CPAC convention (where GOP legislative leaders and presidential candidates are appearing along with white supremacist leaders) is holding a seminar on how to get a date. The description, courtesy of the commenters at Little Green Footballs, is, um, well, you be the judge.

  8. So this is the route they’re going?

    I’ve never seen so much effort to put women under “bitch control” like this?

    Who in the hell thinks this is the best way to go?

    Keep going, please keep going

    These thudfucks got white nationalist groups speaking at their conference.

    Whats next, they want to bring chastity belt back into fashion?

  9. Whoa. The religious right nuts trust me with a baby, but they don’t trust me with birth control?

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