By Ramsey Cox - 07/31/12 02:36 PM EDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday rejected Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) call for a vote this week to repeal the Affordable Care Act via an amendment to the cybersecurity bill.
“I try to be very calm about things in life generally, but I can’t remain very calm about this,” Reid said on the floor in response to McConnell’s request. “I just can’t imagine what we’re talking about on the floor here ... cybersecurity is the most important issue of our time ... and now we’re here being asked if we can have a vote with cybersecurity on contraception for women.”
“This landmark piece of legislation signaled an end to discrimination ... especially against those who are women,” Reid said on the floor. “Being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition.”
Reid said starting Wednesday, insurance companies would be required to cover contraception expenses for women and not raise costs for such services under the Affordable Care Act.
McConnell responded that if Democrats wanted to talk about those issues on the floor, it “might be a good idea to have a vote on it” during the amendment process on a bill this week.
Rebuffing the request, Reid said he wanted it to be on the record that he had “a big smile” on his face while McConnell asked for the amendment vote.
“I don’t think women getting contraception has a thing to do with cybersecurity,” said the Democratic leader.
McConnell said he’d take that answer as a “no.” The GOP senator has attempted to force a healthcare repeal vote on several bills during amendment negotiations to no avail.