Will Obamacare Contraception Mandate Be Amended With “Conscience Clause”

December 9th, 2014

In an article titled “G.O.P. Extracts Price for Averting Shutdown,” the Times explains how Republicans are attempting to throw in favorable pieces into the budget bill, as a reward for averting a shutdown. Buried towards the bottom is this sentence, without any further explanation:

Cultural conservatives in the House and Senate were also pressing to include a “conscience clause” for employers who say funding contraception violates their religious beliefs.

If I understand this correctly, this amendment would modify the Affordable Care Act, and exempt from the contraception mandate (which isn’t actually in the statute) employers (presumably for-profit as well as non-profit). But, without any more details, who knows?

Update: Politico adds more:

A tussle over contraceptives has ended with Democrats keeping an attachment pushed by House conservatives out of a trillion dollar government funding bill.

Conservatives had asked their party leaders to attach a policy rider to the funding bill that would have allowed corporations potentially to duck contraceptive coverage rules under Obamacare.

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But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was opposed, a senior Democratic source said. Republicans will likely depend on Democratic votes to pass the spending bill, so both parties have been negotiating over the language of the legislation.

Pelosi tapped Democratic negotiators to draw “a firm line” against any changes that focused on the so-called ‘conscience clause’, a senior Democratic source said. There were no direct conversations about contraceptives between Pelosi and Speaker John Boehner or House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

And Democrats were broadly opposed to any additions to the government spending bill that would change the 2010 health care law.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/spending-bill-contraceptives-113426.html#ixzz3LQDe4X7x