Warren went on the offensive after her opponent, Sen. Scott Brown (R) announced his support for the Blunt amendment- a measure the Senate will take up that empowers employers and insurance companies to deny coverage for birth control and other services they find morally objectionable. Think of the Blunt amendment as the world’s largest legislative conscious clause.
Not surprisingly, the Blunt amendment has the support of the GOP leadership and has some Democrats nervous they’ll be painted as hostile to religion should the speak out against it. But true to form, Warren is not afraid to speak truth to power. In an interview with the Washington Post Warren said, “This is an extreme attack on every one of us,” Warren said. “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.”
Republicans responded to the attack in predictable fashion by calling Warren an elitist that wants to “use the power of government to force Catholics to violate the teachings of their faith.” Brown’s spokesman took it one step further and likened Brown to Ted Kennedy, a famous supporter of religious conscience exemptions in health care–and universal single payer coverage. The Brown campaign left that last important qualifier off though.
Warren’s response was simple. “This election is about whose side you stand on,” she said. “Here’s an example of giving power to insurance companies and corporations to undercut basic health care coverage. I’m going to fight for families to keep that coverage. The economics around health care are huge for families.”
Thank you, Elizabeth Warren, for saying too many Democratic leaders are still too reluctant to say: that attacking contraceptive coverage in insurance is an economic attack on working families made even more offensive by dressing it up in phony religious objection. Her unapologetic support of contraceptive coverage in health insurance as a matter of economics is a welcome change from the moral sanctimony her male peers have spewed as of late.
Photo from david_shankbone via flickr.