by Max Brantley
The line is open. Final shot:
* REPUBLICANS AND UNEQUAL RIGHTS: This looks like a loser to me, but Republican messaging has triumphed before over common sense. Sen. Mitch McConnell says Republicans will fight to the death to allow an opt-out for preventive health care for women (birth control pills and other contraceptive devices) from employer-provided insurance coverage. They will not fight to allow opt-outs on erectile dysfunction medicine, naturally. This is not a religious issue. It's a labor law issue. McConnell wants to let employers pick and choose what things to cover based on their whims, but beginning primarily with taking autonomy from women. He can't pass this legislation, of course. But he and Republicans can certainly demagogue the issue. The high irony is that it would guarantee higher health costs in difficult pregnancies and more abortions.
Time to speak up Rep. Tim Griffin. Do you believe any employer in the 2nd District of Arkansas should be able to deny preventive health coverage to women if they don't want it to include birth control pills (and even though the employer is NOT paying for it under the new Obama rule)? They should call this the Paul Van Dalsem Memorial Barefoot and Pregnant Health Insurance Act.