Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) came out today against a piece of legislation her fellow Republicans are advancing to stop the Obama administration’s new birth control rule. The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), would go much farther the Obama rule and allow any employer to deny coverage for contraceptives and other preventative health care services to their employees. The measure puts “your boss in your bedroom and in between you and your doctor,” as ThinkProgress’ Josh Dorner noted, and could endanger millions of women’s insurance coverage for preventive health care.
Republican lawmakers have rallied around Blunt’s amendment. A vote is scheduled for tomorrow, attached to an unrelated transportation bill. But Snowe — who announced her retirement yesterday — said on MSNBC today that the Blunt Amendment goes too far:
SNOWE: With respect to the Blunt amendment, I think it’s much broader than I could support. I think we should focus on the issue of contraceptives and whether or not it should be included in a health insurance plan and what requirements there should be.
Fellow Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins joined Snowe in breaking ranks with the GOP to support Obama’s contraception rule, after he made an accommodation to religious organizations. So far, Collins is undecided on the Blunt amendment and others may oppose it too.
Sixty-seven percent of voters oppose legislation like Blunt’s, a recent poll found.