WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) today voted to oppose the “Blunt Amendment,” a far-reaching provision that would have given unprecedented authority to employers and insurers to deny women access to preventive services. Senator Roy Blunt (MO) proposed the provision as an amendment to the Surface Transportation bill, important bipartisan legislation that would help jumpstart the economy and create more than two million American jobs.
“It’s insulting to the American people that instead of focusing on job growth and the economy, some members of the Senate believe it is more important to play politics with women’s health,” Hagan said. “The Blunt amendment is a vast overreach that could lead to employers denying 600,000 North Carolina women access to vital preventive services-from mammograms to prenatal care – that saves lives and saves families. While I continue to support the religious exemption endorsed by the administration, which takes into consideration the concerns of religious organizations and requires insurance companies to reach out and offer contraceptive care free of charge, I cannot support a provision that threatens health coverage for women in North Carolina and across the country.”
Under current law, individuals are guaranteed access to free preventive services such as cancer screenings, flu vaccines, diabetes and annual checkups. The Blunt amendment would allow any employer or insurer to deny these or other services for vaguely defined objections that would take the power over a women’s health care out of her hands and into her employers’.