GOP Adds Last Minute Language On PPACA Contraceptive Coverage To Budget Resolution

I suppose this is the legislative equivalent of playing like you have a Royal Flush when you’re really only holding a pair of deuces:

Washington (CNN) - House Republicans have added a measure aimed at limiting contraceptive coverage to the spending bill coming up for a vote Saturday night, a spokesman for Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, told CNN.

A senior House leadership aide confirmed that development.

The so-called “conscience clause” would allow employers and insurers to opt out of preventative care for women which they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds. That prominently includes birth control, which most insurers are required to provide for free under current Obamacare rules.

With this move, House Republican leaders would give any employer or group health plan the ability to opt out of contraception coverage for the next year. That time frame syncs up with the larger measure in which this is included: a one-year delay of Obamacare provisions not yet in effect.

“This is a big deal for the congressman,” Huelskamp’s spokesman, Paul Nelson, told CNN. “He has been pushing for (the conscience clause) since he entered Congress.”

This issue, of course, has been the subject of numerous lawsuits around the country, several of which are already on track for Supreme Court consideration possibly in time to be heard in the current term. There’s no chance, of course, that this would ever be accepted by the Senate or the President, but it does emphasize the extent to which the House GOP has turned this process into a pander-fest to the hard-right Republican base. The Machiavellian would say that this is all part of a plan for the leadership to be able to say to them, after it fails “see, we tried to do this, but those darn Democrats wouldn’t let us.”

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Healthcare Policy, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. TPF says:

    Maybe they are trying to be funny

  2. Buffalo Rude says:

    The American Taliban sponsored by the Koch brothers et al.

  3. bob says:

    This is getting totally idiotic now. Even if an employer does not cover contraceptives for his employees, his money is still paying for contraceptives, just not for his employees. His premiums do not just service his policy, they service lots of policies, the vast majority of which cover contraceptives. He could achieve his goal of having his employees share his religious beliefs better through the hiring process with a religious screening.

  4. al-Ameda says:

    House Republicans are theocrats and Jacobins, unfit to govern.

  5. CB says:

    This isn’t Machiavellian. This is Keystone Kopsian. Freakin’ nuts.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    And then the Republican Party doesn’t understand why women vote for the Democratic Party…