Sometime before the end of the month the Senate will be voting on a legislative amendment to the Affordable Care Act proposed by our own GOP Senator Roy Blunt, the Blunt-Rubio amendment, that proposes to deal with the Bishops’ disinclinaton to permit folks to purchase birth-control by allowing any insurance provider, religious, secular, what have you, to deny coverage for just abut anything as long as the provider has religious or moral objections. There’s lots of problems with this, of course, not least that it addresses a non-issue as far as any action that might threaten religious freedom, but Dave Weigel isolates one of the most serious problems:
Not to be too patronizing or anything, but the Constitution prohibits any bill establishing or restricting religious beliefs. Morals, though — that’s not in the Constitution, and that could mean anything. This creates an opening for Democrats. Greg Sargent talks to Elizabeth Warren, who walks right through it.
“I am shocked that Senator Brown jumped in to support such an extreme measure,” Warren told me by phone just now. “This is an all new attack on health care. Any insurance company could leave anyone without health care, just when they need it most… This is an extreme attack on every one of us. It opens the door to outright discrimination. It would let insurance companies and corporations cut off pregnant women, overweight guys, older Americans, or anyone – because some executive claims it’s part of his moral code. Maybe that wouldn’t happen, but I don’t want to take the chance.”
When you have regulations so loose that essentially anything goes, what do you have? The free-market anarchy so beloved of conservative ideologues, and so dear to the corporate types who benefit most from the loosening of all restraint. The Blunt-Rubio amendment owes little or nothing to any desire to preserve “religious freedom”; it’s simply part of the drive to restore the type of free-market anarchy that the Bush years were famous for, and for which we are all now paying the price.