Setting The Record Straight On Scott Brown’s Fight For Religious Liberty
MYTH: According to Elizabeth Warren, “Senator Scott Brown is supporting the Blunt amendment — a dangerous measure being pushed by Senate Republicans that would allow insurance companies and employers to deny health care coverage to anyone for any reason, just when people need it most.”
FACT: Senator Brown is supporting a bipartisan bill to write into law a conscience exemption for Catholics and other people of faith in the medical field. This bill would simply restore the standards that were in place before the Obamacare mandates. Like Senator Kennedy before him, Brown has consistently supported a conscience clause.
MYTH: Senator Kennedy only supported conscience exemptions for religious reasons, not based on “moral conviction” like the bill Senator Brown supports.
FACT: In fact, Senator Kennedy sponsored legislation providing a conscience exemption for health care workers that explicitly included both “religious belief or moral conviction” – the language identical to the bill Sen. Brown supports.
In 1995, Kennedy’ introduced the “Affordable Health Care For All Americans Act” that included an identical Conscience Clause Exemption as the Blunt Amendment –both included a moral conviction clause. (S. 168, Introduced 1/5/95
- TED KENNEDY: “A Health Professional Or A Health Facility May Not Be Required To Provide An Item Or Service Under A Certified Health Plan If The Professional Or Facility Objects To Doing So On The Basis Of A Religious Belief Or Moral Conviction.” (S. 168, Introduced 1/5/95)
In His 2009 Letter To Pope Benedict XVI, Senator Kennedy Expressed His Support For A Conscience Exemption. “I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health care field and will continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone.” (David Gibson, “Ted Kennedy To Pope Benedict: ‘I Am Writing With Deep Humility…,’” Politics Daily, 8/29/09)
MYTH: This amendment would impact existing state mandates on contraception coverage.
FACT: The amendment would not touch existing state laws – it would only impact President Obama’s flawed health care plan, which Senator Brown opposes and has voted to repeal. In Massachusetts, we have conscience exemptions as part of the 2006 health care reform bill, which Senator Brown supported.
MYTH: According to Elizabeth Warren, “This new bill that Scott Brown is supporting is not about religious institutions — it’s about something very different. It would allow any employer or insurance company to refuse to cover any person for any treatment. Not only is it an attack on women’s ability to get the vital health care we need, it is an attack on every one of us … Any medical test, treatment or prescription your boss or HMO doesn’t want to pay for could suddenly become morally objectionable — and under this amendment, your employer or insurance company would not have pay for it. You would lose your health care coverage.”
FACT: This amendment simply restores conscience protections that existed under the First Amendment for more than 220 years before Obamacare. There was no rash of employers denying coverage of these services then, and there would not be once the conscience protections are restored.