The Senate voted Wednesday to advance an amendment to the GOP-led healthcare bill to block the administration from requiring insurers to cover birth control for women and men.
The move was the latest twist in a bitter fight that has pitted Democrats and Republicans on the health care front over how to ensure that women have access to preventive health care, including contraception.
The amendment was introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein Dianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein to lead probe into Kavanaugh allegations against Kavanaugh Live coverage: Senators unveil Kavanaugh nomination moves MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp Mary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkopfHeitkamp’s legacy will be preserved in her role as governor Heitkoopf calls on Senate to reject Gorsuch nomination Read moreThe measure, which had not yet been formally introduced, would block the HHS from implementing the Trump administration’s new rule that requires insurers to provide contraceptive coverage to women and girls under 18 and men under 45.
Democrats have said the measure will put millions of women and their children at risk and could open the door to lawsuits from employers.
Republicans, meanwhile, have said it will not force insurers to do what the Trump Administration said they would.
Republicans have been divided over whether to include the amendment in the final version of the bill.
Sen. Susan Collins Susan Margaret CollinsGOP senator questions Trump on Kavanaugh: ‘Is he being serious?’
Collins: ‘I don’t know if he’s being serious’Trump says Kavanaugh accusers should be ‘asked’ if they want to see Kavanaugh nomination move forward Collins: Democrats ‘have to act quickly’ to ensure women have affordable access to contraceptivesSenate approves $1.1 billion for opioid addiction treatment program MORE (R-Maine) said the amendment “is the most comprehensive and comprehensive piece of legislation we have seen” on the healthcare bill.
She added, “We’ve got to move forward, we’ve got a bill, we need to get it passed.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Addison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHow Flake came to power: A look at how the ‘nuclear option’ workedSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go to the Senate to vote on Kavanaugh McConnell: ‘It would be irresponsible’ to allow a vote on health bill on Tuesday MORE (Ky.) has said he is open to moving the amendment if the Democrats do not agree to include it.
McConnell has said the Democrats “have not been forthcoming” about what they will propose to fix the healthcare law, and that the GOP plan “does not change anything.”
The amendment is the second in a series of efforts that have come from both sides of the aisle to address the ACA.
Senators from both parties voted Wednesday on a bill to allow the administration to waive some rules for some of the requirements for employers who don’t provide insurance to cover abortion.
The House passed a similar bill on Wednesday.
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