The narrative the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and the Elizabeth Warren campaign, have been pushing for two weeks just blew up in their face. According to those on the left the notion that Scott Brown is following in Ted Kenendy’s footsteps by using the words “Moral Conviction” in a conscience amendment is false. They say that Kennedy only wanted to limit what a provider could refuse to do, and that, they say contrary to their 2010 position, is OK. Shifting to those that pay for healthcare is wrong and a slippery slope that will cause millions of people to be left dying on the street.
The truth is, that both Ted Kennedy, and his son Patrick both in 1997 supported an almost identical provision. Perhaps it is time for Patrick Kennedy to apologize for his attack on Scott Brown, saying the opposite, today. The Springfield Republican just noted today.
But a 1997 bill sponsored in the Senate by the elder Kennedy and adjoining legislation in the House which was co-sponsored by Patrick Kennedy seems to have supported an exemption clause allowing businesses to limit health care coverage on the basis of religious or moral convictions.
In the legislation titled “Health Insurance Bill of Rights Act of 1997” (H.R.820 and S.353,) it states that a health insurance issuer may fully advise licensed or certified health care providers and enrollees “of the coverage’s limitations on providing particular medical services based on the religious or moral convictions of the issuer.”
Previous to the unearthing of this legislation, Brown’s camp had cited a 1995 bill penned by the elder Kennedy which stated that a “health professional or a health facility may not be required to provide an item or service under a certified plan if the professional or facility objects on the basis of a religious belief or moral conviction.”
The language is exactly the same, 1997 and today in the Blunt amendment. The full bill excerpt is after the jump.
‘(c) PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS OR MORAL EX-
”(1) INGENERAL.-An health insurance issuer
may fully advise-
”(A) licensed or certified health care pro-
viders at the time of their employment with the
issuer or at any time during such employment,
”(B) enrollees at the time of their enroll-
ment for health insurance coverage with the is-
suer or at any time during which such enrollees
have such coverage,
of the coverage’s limitations on providing particular
medical services (including limitations on referrals
for care provided outside of the coverage) based on
the religious or moral convictions of the issuer. 23
Today’s Massachusetts Democratic Party and Patrick Kennedy are too liberal, for the 1997 Patrick Kennedy and his father.