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Mass. Democrats Hit Brown For Health Coverage Stance

This article is more than 9 years old.

Massachusetts Democrats are trying to keep birth control front and center as an issue in the U.S. Senate race in this state.

They're criticizing Sen. Scott Brown for supporting a proposal that would allow employers to withhold medical coverage for religious or moral reasons.

In a conference call Friday morning, Rep. Ruth Balser, of Newton, expressed concern that the bill could allow employers to withhold mental health coverage under the federal law requiring everyone to have health insurance.

"It could certainly amend the mental health protections that were in that bill," Balser said.

Brown calls such concerns a red herring. And he defended his support of the legislation Friday.

"Bottom line is this is about allowing people with strong religious faith beliefs and moral objections to make sure they have the freedoms and protections they want," Brown said. "We had done it in Massachusetts."

Massachusetts law requires individuals to have insurance that covers birth control. Large employers such as hospitals and universities typically self-insure, and if they do, federal law requires them to offer contraception coverage.

This article was originally published on February 24, 2012.

This program aired on February 24, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.


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