The Senate rejects Senator Roy Blunt's health care amendment, and many in the media call it a win for Democrats. But is it?
(Image Source: Politico ) BY ALLIE SPILLYARDS Washington’s birth control debate rages on. And Thursday’s rejection of a Republican-backed measure leaves some speculating—the ball’s in the blue side of the court. Fox News has the details . “A big setback for the GOP challenge to President Obama's contraception rule, the Senate today blocking the Blunt amendment. The amendment would have let insurers and employers opt out of providing birth control coverage if they had moral objections.” According to a writer for The Huffington Post —this wasn’t about coverage. “Blunt never stood a chance of passing, and Republicans and Democrats know it. So the purpose of Blunt clearly wasn't to actually prevent women from having access to birth control, but to create a fight. They wanted a debate, not an outcome.” But Republicans supporting this bill say—this is a chance to reverse legislation that never should’ve happened. CNN’s John King explains. “Roy Blunt says he’s simply trying to protect the First Amendment rights of employers who might have a moral objection to abortion, a moral objection to contraception, or something else.” At first — President Obama’s mandate required certain religious-affiliated employers to provide birth control coverage. When that proved controversial — he offered a compromise — which put the burden of coverage on insurance companies. In an Op-ed for the Washington Post , Greg Sargent points out—the right’s rejection of that opens a whole new can of worms. “[There’s been] a great deal of hand-wringing about how supposed ‘centrist’ politicians no longer have any meaningful role to play in Washington. The demands for ideological purity on both sides, we’re told, have grown so strident that the possibility of bipartisan compromise has vanished.” MSNBC’s Willie Geist adds—this could be the issue that divides the GOP. “It’s a settled issue. It was very telling the day before the vote, 2 days ago, John Boehner, all of the Republican leadership was up there. Did not mention this. Didn’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to get mired in it.” Now— the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports —Senator Blunt plans to drop the issue and leave it to his colleagues.