The Senate rejected an amendment today that would have vastly expanded so-called conscience objections to the Obama administration's health care law.
The measure, which was narrowly defeated in a 51-48 vote, would have allowed employers and insurers to opt out of any portion of the health care law they found morally objectionable, including the requirement to cover the costs of birth control.
Currently, churches are the only institutions fully exempt from that requirement, though President Obama recently announced an accommodation by which religiously affiliated organizations such as charities, schools, or hospitals can refuse to provide contraceptive coverage through their insurance plans. Women who work for such organizations will still be guaranteed birth control, but will instead obtain it directly from their insurance companies at no additional cost.
The measure was proposed by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, which means the Senate will be unable to use the name "Blunt Amendment" for anything else, even if a really, really great opportunity presents itself in the future.