Considering congresspeople with penises and pundits with penises (or is it pundits that are penises?) have largely dominated the debate over contraception, it’s quite refreshing to see two very bright and competent female Senators come to the forefront and weigh in on this issue.
Maine Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, two of the Republican party’s only moderate voices left and who have broken with the party in the past on health related issues, voiced their support of President Obama’s compromise on contraception. The radical right and religious organizations naturally threw a hissy fit when they learned a portion of the Affordable Care Act required all employers and health insurers to provide birth control to low-income woman for free. The unmitigated audacity of wishing to prevent already indigent woman from accidentally having kids they cannot afford, and which would clearly be an economic burden on the state could not be countenanced. Perhaps it winnows down to one very conflicting dilemma for conservatives: do they continue being complete and utter socially backwards loons and worship the fetus despite their affinity of gutting in kind benefits, or do they oppose this provision on economically libertarian grounds?
Both Collins and Snowe showed their support in a prepared statement that was released yesterday. Collins and Snowe had previously opposed the original plan on grounds that it threatened religious freedom:
“It appears that changes have been made that provide women’s health services without compelling Catholic organizations in particular to violate the beliefs and tenets of their faith,”Snowe said. “According to the Catholic Health Association, the administration ‘responded to the issues [they] identified that needed to be fixed,’ which is what I urged the president to do in addressing this situation.”
“The administration has finally listened to the concerns raised by many and appears to be seeking to avoid the threat to religious liberties posed by its original plan,” Collins said.
Interestingly enough, both Collins and Snowe co-sponsored a bill in 2001 that prohibited insurance plans from excluding contraception coverage in their prescription benefits in spite of their initial dislike of Obama’s first proposal. Then again, Republicans were actually adults back then and apparently medicated.
As of now, Collins and Snowe appear to be the only Republicans behind this massively bi-partisan compromise on Obama’s part, whereas the teahadist elements that are today’s GOP remain reliably rancorous and recalcitrant.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.