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They sure love us

Senate Republicans are really concerned about making sure women have greater access to birth control. No, really, it is true! (No, really, it is not.) From the same party that has tried for years to defund Planned Parenthood, ban certain types of birth control that they think murder babies (because they are idiots who don’t understand what contraception is), and protect employers’ “right” to tell you what kind of medicine you can use on your ladyparts comes the latest clever attempt to make life harder for the ladies, but, you know, “for the ladies.”

Last week, Sens. Cory Gardner and Kelly Ayotte — Republicans who oppose the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance companies to cover all FDA-approved contraception at no cost to patients, so that should be your first hint — introduced the obligatorily Orwellian named Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act. The bill does not have any words in it yet, but it’s got a catchy title, right? See, Republicans do care about women! You can tell because Ayotte and Gardner said so in a statement:

“Our legislation will help increase women’s access to safe and effective contraceptives and further empower women to make their own health care decisions,” said Ayotte. […]

“It’s time to allow women the ability to make their own decisions about safe, effective, and long-established methods of contraception,” Gardner said. “Most other drugs with such a long history of safe and routine use are available for purchase over the counter, and contraception should join them. Making this medication available over the counter would increase access in rural and underserved areas, save consumers money by increasing competition and availability, and save women time by increasing the ease of getting the safe contraception they need.”

Sounds downright pro-choice, doesn’t it? Allowing women the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions. Yay, the feminists have finally won!

So then why are women’s healthcare providers and experts, like Planned Parenthood and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, opposed to this bill? Maybe because the bill would do the exact opposite of what its sponsors claim it would do, as you might have imagined because the bill’s sponsors are all Republicans who don’t want women to have access to birth control. See, right now, we’ve got a pretty good thing going, thanks to Obamacare. Lady-Americans are saving a ton of money on contraception because of how Obamacare makes insurance companies cover whatever contraception our doctors think is best for us, without making us cough up any copay at all. (Even though the Obama administration recently had to clarify to insurance companies that they really do have to cover all types of birth control, because some of them thought that was just, like, optional, not THE LAW.)

So does this new “for the ladies, no really” bill offer a better deal than “whatever kind of birth control you want, for free”? Hahahaha of course not. Instead, women will get to purchase whatever over-the-counter birth control their local pharmacy has available on its shelves, which might not be every single one of them, and then women will get to pay for it, out of their own pockets, instead of paying the zero dollars for it to which we’ve become accustomed. And some types of birth control can cost hundreds of dollars a year, and even a dumb lady who is not good at math can calculate that “hundreds of dollars” is more than “zero dollars.”

So — surprise! — the Republicans supporting this bill, who do not typically support access to birth control, as their records demonstrate, have introduced a bill to make it harder and more expensive for women to get birth control, and they’re pretending it is somehow a good thing for women, even though it clearly is not, but hey, that’s the Republican Party for you, isn’t it? Yup, it is. As always.

[Salon / Cory Gardner Senate / Congress.gov]

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  • Nounverb911

    But Boehner Pills are Viagra is still covered?

    • TheBidenator

      Usually, no. With a prior authorization maybe, but good luck getting one for boner pills although it does happen….I used to work with Rx coverage and about oh, 99% of the time when someone was prescribed Viagra or Cialis it was denied outright.

    • weejee

      Hillbilly heroin too, also.

      • TheBidenator

        That’s really hard to get, too…seriously big crackdown on hillbilly heroin. When I was working for a PBM what we would tell people is essentially if you wanted hillbilly heroin as a new start and you didn’t have cancer yeah not going to happen. Even if the medication was authorized the longest authorization would be for a year and you had to pee test and your doctor had to give your insurer a ween off plan. The bad thing is the addicts have moved off to smoking fentanyl patch gel which is just dangerous (it’s toxic and concentrated so its easy to O/D with) because of the crackdown on Oxycontin and because morphine sulfate isn’t nearly as strong. A lot of pain management doctors are pissed because for years they were encouraged to prescribe Oxycontin to their patients and then suddenly the rug was ripped out from under the patient after being prescribed this highly effective and highly addictive medication. When I dealt with a particularly difficult situation of someone stabilized on oxy who couldn’t get oxy anymore I always said to myself, “thanks Rush Limbaugh you fat asshole lummox”.

      • Me not sure

        … this is your asshole on drugs.

    • JustPixelz

      The part where they say “seek medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours” (snicker, snicker)…. I got curious about what the medical help entailed — thinking maybe it was an FDA-approved BJ — but I was wrong. The actual treatment is the reason I will NEVER NEVER NEVER take a boner pill.

      • Me not sure

        If I ever had one of those I’d be calling the Ripley’s Believe it or not Museum.

        • Lot_49

          Or the Smithsonian

          • Me not sure

            Ouch!

  • kindness

    Yes, by all means, let us marginalize contraception use by making it more expensive. Guess they didn’t get the message that this is not The Age Of The Duggars.

    • Nounverb911

      Didn’t they sing “The Age of the Duggars” in the musical “Hair” while nude?

      • weejee

        While getting mooned in the 7th house.

        • Me not sure

          Great! Now my wife wants one of those for the garden.

      • Me not sure

        Mike Luckovich in today’s AJC.

    • Tallmutha

      You know the Republican slogan: Less buggery, more Duggary.

  • Nounverb911

    “and then women will get to pay for it, out of their own pockets, instead of paying the zero dollars for it”
    So this is a republican sponsored tax increase then, does Grover Nordquist know about this?

    • ohpaleasegivemeabreak

      Grover is the one who figured this out as a way to punish the sluts.

    • Msgr_Moment

      Getting Duggared by the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace.

  • beatbort

    Is Kelly Ayotte one of those self-hating women?

    • Nounverb911

      Just like Miss Lindsey.

    • Lizzietish81

      She will never have a problem getting contraception. Or an abortion if she needed one. Nor will any of her daughters.

      This kind of thing targets poor women.

      • Lot_49

        Hahaha, it’s funny sad because it’s true.

    • Me not sure

      Woman? Next you’ll try to tell me someone named Lindsey is a man.

  • Pretty shoddy reporting there, Wonkette – you didn’t mention Republican plans to support families and children by efforts to dramatically increase funding for access to maternity, obstetric, perinatal, and pediatric healthcare, to develop a comprehensive network of quality, low-cost childcare facilities so parents can work and attend school, to invest in jobs training so parents have jobs to go to, to support minimum wage increases to make those jobs worth going to and invest in public transportation so parents can get to those jobs, to improve schools and extracurricular opportunities for all children, as well as … wait, what? There are no such plans?

    • Me not sure

      Are those covered in the Obamacare Replacement Act of 20XX?

      • Pretty sure the year of enactment for that bill is 2016, right?

        • Me not sure

          That’s January 2017, and it’ll be called the Hillz-a-poppin’ Medicare for All, You’re Welcome Act.

    • TheBidenator

      Ha ha ha, that’s a good one….Republicans having a plan that isn’t just a bumper sticker slogan with some bullet points slathered on to make it look professional….

  • Me not sure

    My wife says that there is no way that I’m going to get to take Viagra, Cialis or any of those snuggle enhancers. Why is Obama making me pay for coverage for them. Thanx Obama!

    • Left Coast Tom

      Does your wife read your disallowed comments?

      • Me not sure

        My wife is psychic. She just eyeball-bores straight into my brain.

  • Spotts1701

    So they have a catchy title, but no actual language. Could they at least try at pretending to do their jobs?

    • Nounverb911

      Trying to pretend isn’t in their job descriptions.

  • TheBidenator

    Oh it’s just the wingnut shuffle….they just don’t want the government to pay for your slutty slut pills (call me!) because it looks bad to the religious right and companies with religious beliefs because somehow that’s a thing now and they don’t want to piss off the manufacturers so this is what they do and of course women get screwed in the bad way (call me ladies for the good way!).

  • Lizzietish81

    Of course the added dimension is that Pharmacies could just decide to not include birth control in their OTC inventory whereas insurance companies often have mail order prescriptions (especially for stuff you take everyday) which could just circumvent the pharmacist all together.

    • MrBlobfish

      Bingo. The Devil is in the Deeply Held Beliefs.

      • mtn_philosoph

        So you say to the pharmacist, “Ohhhh, so you’re one of those people, huh? I wonder what your wifey thinks about that? I mean, what she really thinks, and not just what she says to you. [Looking around] Gee, I wonder what else I am no longer going to be buying here … “

  • VandeGraf

    The conservative GOP will stop at nothing to serve their masters. What more could the captains of industry and finance ask for than even more low paid workers. This is not a tactic, it’s a strategy to increase the population where workers are already underpaid and largely undereducated, to provide more bodies for low paying jobs. Increasing the labor pool means decreasing the wages, due to (America! Freedom!) competition for those jobs. Ergo, more capital in the GOP bank from their paymasters in the board rooms.

    • Lizzietish81

      Or to keep the base voting for them.

  • MrBlobfish

    You can have my penis pump when you can pry it etc.

  • Tallmutha

    Why do I have this sneaking feeling that there will be entire states in which not a single pharmacy will be all that conscientious about keeping their shelves stocked with over-the-counter contraception?

    • jmk

      “You can special order it, miss … but there will have to be an additional charge.”

    • Celtic_Gnome

      I remember when they kept condoms behind the pharmacy in a locked drawer, and you had to go up and ask for them and then take them to the checkout counter to pay for them. And the pharmacist was always a 75-year-old lady who knew your mother from church.

      • mtn_philosoph

        When faced with a situation like that, you would do well to call on your inner Eddie Haskell for guidance. So…

        … you make sure to ask her for specific brand recommendations, based on her expertise. (“… as a pharmacist, I mean. Why, what did you think I meant?”) And then you pull a banana out of your pocket so you could roll one out right there in front of her to see how it would fit and how it would look, making sure to seek and obtain her opinion on that. (And then when she demands that you leave the store immediately, you put on your best hurt puppy-dog look and go “Gee willikers, ma’am. I am just a beginner here. I would sure appreciate a little help. Can you help me?”)

  • Pierre_de_Fermat

    So … this is really a way for the GOP to become even MORE attractive to non-old-white-men?

  • jmk

    So are these the same douchenozzles who, before the ACA was enacted, pushed for more restrictions on birth control pills and kept demanding that I be required to visit my OB/Gyn twice a year for slut pills because they were soooo dangerous to my ladyhealth and required constant monitoring? Or are these different douchenozzles?

    • Spotts1701

      A douchenozzle is a douchenozzle is a douchenozzle. They’re all interchangeable parts at this point.

      • jmk

        Sadly, true.

        Here’s an idea – let’s take a tip from the world of professional sports and have them all wear uniforms with their names and a number on them… they could even wear patches indicating their corporate sponsors!

  • Gristle McThornbody

    Okay, so they’re talking about making birth control pills non-prescription drugs. What could possibly go wrong? Their clever little plan would ensure that any 12-year-old could have an older sister or friend buy them all the birth control pills they wanted to stuff down their gullet. This bill doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Texas of making it anywhere.

  • dslindc

    I wish we had greater access to GOP contraception . . . with votes, but they keep trying to reduce that access, also too.

  • MrBlobfish

    Puritans gotta purinate.

    • Hardly Ideal

      In addition to the pillars of English Socialism (War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength), they should carve the phrase “Purity before Reason” somewhere in Congress.

  • dslindc

    Let’s be honest, by “over the counter” they mean “aspirin to place between your knees” don’t they?

  • baconzgood

    Worstest “just the tip” EVAH!!

  • MrBlobfish

    I forgot what I was gonna say. Dammit.

    • Gristle McThornbody

      Something about prescriptions for Alzheimer’s medications?

      • Blank Ron

        Who are you? And get off my lawn!

        • TheBidenator

          It’s alright Senator McCain we’ll all get off your lawn….

    • JustPixelz

      You were gonna tell us your VISA card number and security code. Don’t worry it’s safe here because wonket doesn’t allow comments.

    • Vecciojohn

      What?

  • schmannity

    Shouldn’t this be called the Insurance Company Relief Act of 2015 since the savings will go to the Republican Reelection Campaign Fund, not the insureds?

    • Gleem-McShinez

      “If you like your Republican Political Investment, you get to keep your Republican Political Investment!”

  • Ryan Denniston

    Two things
    1) I just found out condoms are not covered by ACA. UNFAIR!
    2) I refuse to relitigate contraception. This is settled, this has been settled over most of my life, or so it seems to me to be. I have been wrong before. Anyway, Republicans opposed to contraception are not conservative, they are reactionary jerks. And scary too.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      The new term for conservatives is Regressives

  • Hemp Dogbane

    But how will this bill advance the Purity and Godliness of our nation?

  • schmannity

    Another proxy battle in the Cold War on Women.

    • Lizzietish81

      The cold speculas are bad enough.

      • Me not sure

        Wife says I should upvote you with an exclamation point!!!!

      • SterWonk

        I’m a guy, and I still cringed. :-(

      • jviscont1

        look out or James Inhofe will have a snow ball or two available too.

  • baconzgood

    you ladies get access for birth control, but only in places that are willing to sell it because the Godless heathens will sell it to you. Oh, you gotta pay through the nose when you DO FIND ONE that will sell it….or a doctor that will give you the Rx that hasent been bombed yet.

    Sounds ligit. Baby steps ladies.

    Im sure all the cool women are going to migrate to the North East or Mid Atlantic and California soon. Then its gonna be easy for Baconzgood to find a hip chick. Like one with a bob haircut, drinks shitty draft beer, thinks hipsters with e cigarettes are douche bags, and has read Proust.

  • Ryan Denniston

    It just dawned on me. For a man with erectile dysfunction, would NOT providing Viagra constitute contraception? And now America can have free boner pills!

    • david green

      Well, you got better insurance than I do.

  • Tallmutha

    No, but seriously, Republicans really do have women’s interests at heart. Scott Walker, for instance, wants them to have more cool experiences.

    • Celtic_Gnome

      And, if a woman Scott Walker knew quite well voluntarily inserted a vibrating device in her vagina, he’d freak at the idea of being replaced by a machine.

  • Lefty Frizzell

    Anybody who doesn’t think this is directly connected to the rise of insular backwoods homeschooled fundamentalism, abstinence-only, purity balls and creepy patriarchal cults, resulting directly in the self-loathing, twisted, confused sexuality of a Duggar – just hasn’t been paying attention!

    • willi0000000

      what good does it do you if fucking your sister doesn’t give you a chance of getting another sister to fuck?

      • Marco

        Are you against purity?

        http://www.davidmagnusson.se/#purity/purity

        This is mesmerizing! And you are againt it, damn you.

        • Lefty Frizzell

          I’ve been using the word “creepy” a lot in the last couple of days, but that is some seriously creepy shit, right there. Madonna-whore complex anyone?

          • dshwa

            Yeah, that’s some fucked up shit right there.

  • JustPixelz

    The google machine says Wal-mart sells generic oral contraceptives for $9 per month. Pregnancy medical costs are about $10,000 (vaginal) or $20,000 (caesarian). Your smart insurance company will want to pay for the pills (or other contraceptives).

  • sosuume

    So, do I pay the pharmacist at my local Walgreen’s to insert my IUD?

    • AnOuthouse

      No. Amazon is developing a robotic drone that will do that. Because free markets and innovation.

  • OneYieldRegular

    Forget food trucks. Isn’t it about time for a fleet of contraceptive trucks?

    • Hardly Ideal

      In a more perfect world, they’d be rolling slowly down the road with bikini-clad hotties tossing them to bystanders like they were Mardi Gras beads.

      • Mintie

        I thought they already did that with condoms at the actual Mardi Gras . . .

  • Rufus T. Firefly

    Next up–GOP helps struggling working families by eliminating the minimum wage.

    • SterWonk

      You missed all the times they’ve claimed that the minimum wage prevents unskilled workers from getting jobs, and therefore eliminating it will let the poor find work?

      • david green

        I’ve been hearing that crap from the GOP since I began working and the minimum wage jumped to $1.55 an hour from $1.50.

  • Angry_Cop

    They pulled this same OTC shit with my reflux medication and it’s now four times as expensive.

    • Mintie

      That wasn’t the GOP, that was Big Pharma. Because GOD FORBID their patents run out and they lose exclusive sales.

    • david green

      Insurance companies love it when meds become OTC. Gets them off the hook for paying for the stuff, but doesn’t cut at all into their rate structure.

      • KenRob

        And increases the profits of all the Pharmacy & drug industries that they all own stock in. A win-win for every RWinger.

  • docterry6973

    PLEASE run against contraception, GOP. I’m begging here.

    • Rick Hill

      They’re getting this in early. In a year the gop candidate will be claiming the higher costs and reduced access to BC is because of the Dems.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      All it would take is one good debate question…a la the infamous raise your hands for evolution one.

  • Relativicus

    Don’t forget a Pharmacist’s Closely-Held Religious Beliefs that may prevent a pharmacist from providing a person certain types of contraception. Or all of them, Katie.

  • Lot_49

    Excellent idea! Now let’s do the same thing with chemotherapy. It would give cancer patients the ability to make their own decisions about safe, effective, and long-established methods of cancer treatment.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Laetrile futures just skyrocketed!

  • Callyson

    This one will always be relevant, apparently:

  • Rick Hill

    One would begin to believe they have an agenda other than “We, the people…”

  • calliecallie

    The “Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act”? What kind of self-respecting acronym is AGASEC Act?
    I am sure the collective wonkettery can come up with better names/acronyms.
    For example: the “Sneaky Little Unpleasant Tease Act”?
    Okay, your turn…

    • Hardly Ideal

      I dunno, I think AGASEC Act has kind of an Ingsoc ring to it.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Ingsoc:Socialism::AGASEC:Access to Safe and Effective Contraception.

        Yeah, that fits.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Birth control Assistance Restriction Employing Funds Only Of Tarts.

      BAREFOOT act.

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Targeted Ethnocentric Anti-abortive Bullshit Aimed at Gals Act.

  • Riggsveda

    The other part of this is that no one should begin a regimen of birth control pills without a gyne exam and a discussion with a doctor about what KIND of pills they should take, if any. This is an area where women’s health can be harmed by not having access to medical help, but Republicans think that can only happen with abortion. Aah, well, what the hell do you expect from a party that embraces ignorance and cruelty as a way of life, and elects the kind of asshats who believe you can get a look at a woman’s works by shoving a fibre optic camera down her throat?

  • Marco

    First, Im in favor of giving contraceptives for free, but, with that said… You know it doesnt cost zero dollars, right? Its a zero sum game…

    • mardam422

      Not really, Marco. The cost of not having birth control, or not having the right birth control, is much higher for all of us (men included) in the end than providing the right birth control in the first place. If nothing else, prevention of unwanted pregnancies is vastly more cost efficient than either raising the kid in poverty (which we also pay for) or even just the cost of a pregnancy itself. And this says nothing of the prevented abortions at the abortionplex.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Actually, it’s not zero sum, it’s positive sum, because pregnancies, especially unplanned pregnancies are way expensive than providing free contraception. It’s win/win.

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Zero dollars to consumer, a few dollars for insurance companies, but considering how much they have to shill for a birth you’d think they’d be alllll for handing out the pill like M&Ms

  • AnOuthouse

    Oh look – the mail man will deliver your slut pills right to your door. No problem with ‘access in rural areas’ or any other such bullshit because the post office delivers everywhere. Its in the constitution. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/save-money-on-birth-control-0

  • AnOuthouse

    Over the counter slut pills? What a great idea. I’m going to market them shaped like Hello Kitty and other children’s’ favorite characters. The kids will love them.

  • cousin itt

    All your sluts are belong to us.

  • Antonin Dvorak

    To provide birth control for all, we must withhold birth control from all.

  • Julie Stanfill Campbell

    Be sure to make the slut pills chewable, because us sluts can’t be trusted to swallow.

  • Jen_Baker_VA

    Now, before a (probable) woman runs for president, the GOP can point to this title and go SEE?
    We are totally FOR women issues! REALLY!

  • Barley_Brains

    Sorry. I voted as many times as I could against Corey Gardner, but he still won.

  • Celtic_Gnome

    Jesus. Most of these politicians are married to women. Those that aren’t are women. Do they believe that every woman they don’t know has the intelligence of a three-year-old?

  • Celtic_Gnome

    I have no idea why any woman would support these actions. The men, I assume, are getting back at all the cheerleaders that wouldn’t give them the time of day back in high school.

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