The U.S. Senate today voted down a bill that would have allowed employers and health plans to deny coverage for contraceptives and other services based on moral or religious objections. The vote was 51 to 48.
The bill, proposed by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, picked up steam following President Obama's announcement earlier in the year that universities and hospitals affiliated with religious groups had to provide free birth control as part of their employee health coverage. Following a firestorm of controversy, the president later amended the requirement, shifting the cost of the program away from employers and onto their insurance carriers.
The only Republican to vote against the Blunt plan was Maine's Sen. Olympia Snow, who has announced she will not seek re-election this year.
The Senate battle is one of many legal skirmishes going on in response to Obama's healthcare reform. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently hearing challenges to the overhaul.