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roy blunt
Sen. Roy Blunt at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, perhaps "treating" a psychiatric problem.
(Larry Downing/Reuters)
Remember former Rep. Alan Grayson's characterization of the Republicans' health care plan?
The Republican health care plan for America: “don’t get sick.” If you have insurance don’t get sick, if you don’t have insurance, don’t get sick; if you’re sick, don’t get sick. Just don’t get sick. … If you do get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: “die quickly.”
He was attacked for his hyperbole, but even he couldn't have foreseen just how spot-on his description was. Enter Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and his new amendment to the Affordable Care Act which would allow any employer or insurance company to "exclude any health service, no matter how essential, from coverage if they morally object to it."

Igor Volsky explains:

Under the measure, an insurer or an employer would be able to claim a moral or religious objection to covering HIV/AIDS screenings, Type 2 Diabetes treatments, cancer tests or anything else they deem inappropriate or the result of an “unhealthy” or “immoral” lifestyle. Similarly, a health plan could refuse to cover mental health care on the grounds that the plan believes that psychiatric problems should be treated with prayer.
Individuals can also opt out of any of that coverage they find morally objectionable. The National Women’s Law Center explains how dangerously limited this could be to everyone's health insurance: "Blunt’s language is vague enough that 'insurers may be able to sell plans that do not cover services required by the new health care law to an entire market because one individual objects, so all consumers in a market lose their right to coverage of the full range of critical health services.'”

Apparently Blunt figures he can't be called out for specifically for trying to limit women's health care options if he attacks everybody. So if you're one of those people who lost at genetic Russian Roulette and end up susceptible to Type 2 diabetes, or if you're on of the 10 to 15 percent of lung cancer victims who isn't a smoker, or are among the 50 percent of victims who is a former smoker, you're shit out of luck. Sexually active? You won't even be able to be screened for HIV/AIDS (really smart disease control, there).

Is this insane and extreme? Of course. Would it be a public health disaster? Absolutely. Do Republicans care? Absolutely not.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 03:28 PM PST.

Also republished by Show Me Kos and Daily Kos.

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