Sebelius: Birth-control amendment in Senate ‘dangerous and wrong’

A Republican proposal to allow employers to craft healthcare coverage in line with their religious beliefs is "dangerous and wrong," according to President Obama's top health official. 

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusFormer health chiefs: Stabilizing ObamaCare markets benefits Republicans OPINION | 5 big ideas to halt America's opioid epidemic Aligning clinical and community resources improves health MORE attacked the proposed amendment from Sen Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntTop Senate Dem: We're going forward with understanding we can work with White House on DACA Sunday shows preview: Trump officials gear up for UN assembly Air Force One is Trump’s new boardroom MORE (R-Mo.), which would roll back a healthcare reform mandate that would require religiously affiliated hospitals and universities to provide birth control, without co-pays, to employees. 

"The Obama administration believes that decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss," Sebelius said in a statement. "We encourage the Senate to reject this cynical attempt to roll back decades of progress in women's health."

Blunt is pushing the birth-control amendment as an add-on to the transportation bill, and a vote is scheduled for Thursday. 

Republicans have seized on outrage from Catholic bishops over the birth-control requirement and say the Obama administration is running roughshod over religious freedom.  

The White House tried to quell the controversy by revising the mandate to allow insurers to provide birth-control directly to employees of religiously affiliated institutions, but Republicans rejected the change as sleight of hand.

Democrats argue that Blunt's proposal would go far behind the issue of contraception, and could allow any employer to reject substance abuse coverage or any other medical help that is "contrary to the provider's religious beliefs or moral convictions."

"This proposal isn't limited to contraception nor is it limited to any preventive service. Any employer could restrict access to any service they say they object to. This is dangerous and wrong," Sebelius said.