Should the GOP support over-the-counter sales of birth control pills?

posted at 12:01 pm on July 1, 2014 by Allahpundit

Bobby Jindal, who’s wooing religious conservatives ahead of 2016, has been pushing this idea since 2012. He anticipated the loophole in yesterday’s Hobby Lobby decision: Even if the feds can’t require a (closely held) corporation to cover contraception for its employees, there’s nothing stopping HHS from requiring insurers to cover it for “free,” i.e. through a cost-spreading mechanism that ropes in the wider population. That would solve the religious-freedom objection — Hobby Lobby’s money would no longer be directly applied to pay for abortifacients to which it objects — while guaranteeing that birth control remains effectively subsidized for employee. The only losers are … everyone else, now collectively on the hook for the subsidy. Jindal’s alternative: Why not boot the pill out of the realm of health coverage altogether by making it available OTC? If the morning-after pill is available without a prescription, it stands to reason that a morning-before pill should be. Costs would drop, personal responsibility would be championed, and the religious-freedom problem to all this would be solved. Congress could, as Jindal suggests, even adjust Health Savings Accounts so that they include OTC medicines, which would further reduce the financial burden. And politically, it would complicate the Democrats’ dopey “war on women” messaging by decoupling the contraception debate from the debate over abortion. How do you push a “Republicans don’t believe in reproductive freedom” message if GOPers like Jindal want to make the pill OTC?

Ben Domenech makes the policy case:

That’s one of the reasons why support for making birth control available over the counter is rising on the right and the left. There are a number of objections to this, but I find them to largely amount to unconvincing paternalism. The chief argument advanced is that standard oral contraceptives mess with hormones and have all sorts of side effects. This is, of course, true! But: dangerous side effects are rampant within all sorts of other over the counter drugs. Women can think for themselves and make decisions with their doctor and pharmacist about what drugs they want to take – and the evidence shows they are good at self-screening. In fact, it would actually increase the ability to mitigate and respond to unanticipated side effects, since changing tracks will no longer require a doctor’s visit and getting a new prescription. Assuming that women won’t or can’t take responsibility for themselves to consult with a doctor unless required to by arbitrary government policy is absurd.

It’s obvious why libertarians like the idea of OTC birth control. Conservatives should like it because it removes the responsibility for redistributive payment from themselves while demonstrating that yes, they really aren’t about banning things or preventing access to birth control. And liberals should like it because it will lower the drop-out rate, which is currently largely driven by the requirement to re-up the prescription as much as every few months. The American College of OB-GYNs supports it, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner support it, most of the world already has it, and making it official policy would lower prices, lower health care costs, and make consumers more cost conscious. All of these are good things.

Philip Klein likes the politics, too:

Philosophically, it’s consistent with limited government principles. It removes unnecessary government regulations and increases choice.

It doesn’t impose new burdens on businesses or religious institutions, nor does it require an increase in government health care spending.

And politically, it would also be beneficial to Republicans. It would make it a lot more difficult for Democrats to portray the GOP as being only interested in obstructing Democrats rather than supporting their own ideas, and harder to accuse Republicans of being broadly against access to birth control…

If Democrats oppose the move, they’ll have to explain why they want to force women to go through their doctors to obtain birth control and make it harder for uninsured women to gain access.

Right, but what about the intraparty politics? The vast, vast majority of Republicans (87 percent) find birth control morally acceptable; in fact, according to a 2012 Gallup poll, the GOP numbers on that question are almost indistinguishable from independents and Democrats. A heavy majority of Catholics (82 percent) also find it morally acceptable. The potential social-con objection here isn’t to birth control itself, I think, as to the potential consequences of expanding access — more people, especially teenagers, having sex. Domenech deals with that argument by urging conservatives to face facts: Teens are already having lots of sex and the morning-after pill will be an option for them even if OTC birth control isn’t. The culture war on this point is lost. True enough, but are social conservatives willing to concede that point when they’re also losing badly on gay marriage? Seeing the GOP, ostensibly the party of “values,”suddenly trying to one-up Democrats in making access to the pill easier might be too much at this particular cultural moment. Or am I not giving them enough credit? Comments in our Headline thread for Klein’s post are mainly split between people who like the OTC idea and people who think the pill has far too many dangerous physical side effects to be sold OTC, but moral objections are a sidenote. Is this an idea that Jindal and/or other GOP contenders can get away with pushing or is it destined to become some sort of RINO/true conservative litmus test?


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If they do it then make it where they can’t sue the companies who make the pills.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM

The good news is that all you meth cooks could buy your cold medicine with pre-tax dollars. Happy cooks equals better meth.

Immolate on July 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Yes. Pass this ASAP. Game Over Libs.

brewcrew67 on July 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

As long as I’m not subsidizing it through my premiums or my tax dollars, that what I care about. If this ensures that outcome, fine by me.

Doughboy on July 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM

There a lot of drugs that used to be prescription only that are now available over the counter. Zantac, Pepsid and Tagament come to mind easily.

If it is safe, why not?

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM

at the end of the day, is it any different from buying condems?

joepub on July 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Long term daily drug usage should always be monitored by a doctor.

And due to the large number of contraindicated drugs; you will have A LOT of oopsie pregnancies.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Hmmm, if he thinks that will help the whole WarOnWomen thing, I don;t think it will fly.

WarOnWomen is about stupid, not logic.

formwiz on July 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

If it is safe, why not?

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM

The problem is it’s not and that’s by following the dosage guidelines. Imagine if people take double or triple what they should.

But hey as long as they can’t sue – then take at your own risk.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

If they do it then make it where they can’t sue the companies who make the pills.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Absolutely.. Because the lawsuits because the pill didn’t work because the doctor prescribed me antibiotics, or the pill hurt me because I have high blood pressure– Those suits will happen in droves.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

As long as I’m not subsidizing it through my premiums or my tax dollars, that what I care about. If this ensures that outcome, fine by me.

Doughboy on July 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM

It is already being subsidized by the taxpayers (Medicaid)?

nazo311 on July 1, 2014 at 12:09 PM

As a christian I have no problem with OTC of Birth control. It will be get rid of liberals saying Christians hate women. Yes Abortion is evil, but this is better then forcing people to buy it.

BroncosRock on July 1, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Absolutely.. Because the lawsuits because the pill didn’t work because the doctor prescribed me antibiotics, or the pill hurt me because I have high blood pressure– Those suits will happen in droves.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Or those who die from blood clots – can you imagine the sob stories.

Exempt the manufacturers and then I say go for it.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM

My preference — OK, but:
1) No over the counter contraceptives that are abortifacients.

2) And have them “behind the counter” where a pharmacist has to retrieve them for the customer, albeit without a prescription.

G. Charles on July 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Dangerous.
As is OTC plan B.

Sounds like a lot of folks just don’t care about that part.

pambi on July 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM

The problem exist only because government is now in the healrcare business.

bgibbs1000 on July 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Yes, just don’t charge the taxpayers.

Buy your own fuc*ing pills, of any kind.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

That would solve the religious-freedom objection…

No it wouldn’t. Only 3 posts below this one:

EWTN gets last-minute stay on HHS mandate after Hobby Lobby decision

Pretending that insurers are giving it away for free does not mitigate the fact that those who don’t want to pay for evil are still paying for evil.

NotCoach on July 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Two months ago my daughter had a TEI blamed on the birth control product her OB-GYN prescribed. Go over the counter and you’ll lose a lot of adverse reaction data.

butch on July 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

People…this ruling was against 4 drugs, out of the 20 that are available…that makes it 16 other drugs that women can use.

This is blown so out of proportion, it’s embarrassing…

right2bright on July 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Yes, as a Catholic, I’ve already heard all the shoddy agenda based research about the evils of the Pill.
Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

First, I have many issues with the Catholic Church so I wouldn’t consider myself Catholic.
Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

36 minutes. Is that a new record?
njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Carried over from headlines.

njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Or those who die from blood clots – can you imagine the sob stories.

Exempt the manufacturers and then I say go for it.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Oh and I say this as a blood clot survivor and I know you are as well.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

I can tell you that “health concerns” that people have are used to hide religious objections to this. I have endured lectures from Catholic men (even priests) about the “dangers” of using the Pill and how they know more about my body than I do.

Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

The problem exist only because government is now in the healrcare business.

bgibbs1000 on July 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Exactly…did you see these headlines 5 years ago?

right2bright on July 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

GWB on July 1, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Agreed. Any drug can be abused.

Thinking back to my younger, single, days, if there had been a male contraceptive pill I would have asked my doctor and even if it was prescription only, I would have happily paid out of pocket.

It might just be me, but I fail to see the problem with any adult woman who wants to be sexually active getting a prescription and taking a little responsibility in following the instructions to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

Hell, I would rather get the prescription for my daughter than have her (I have trouble writing sexually active and daughter in the same sentence) going around with no protection.

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Long term daily drug usage should always be monitored by a doctor.

And due to the large number of contraindicated drugs; you will have A LOT of oopsie pregnancies.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

1. Doctors don’t monitor this unless you’re constantly going to the doctor. They prescribe and that’s that. If you buy it OTC, you can tell your doc at your annual physical, just like you would if he/she prescribes it.

2. How many docs run through the contra-indicated drugs now? Hmmm? They barely have time to write the Rx and push you out the door. If you’re getting an Rx for contraindicated drugs, don’t you think that just maybe the docs should say “Oh and btw, if you’re on BCPs, …..”

melle1228 another vote for the nanny state. I don’t see where you voiced concern about the abortion pill being offered OTC to kids, which, I would think, have much greater potentially devastating consequences re bleeding, etc.

MistyLane on July 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Need to grant immunity to companies making the pills and doctors who cannot make proper recommendations because it’s over the counter in the same way other OTC drugs are and I’d be willing to negotiate further.

njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Um, that was supposed to be a reply to:

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Yes, contraception should be considered a elective procedure anyway. OTC BC pills will defuse the topic and remove it from the weapons in the democrat arsenal.

Red Creek on July 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Why not boot the pill out of the realm of health coverage altogether by making it available OTC? If the morning-after pill is available without a prescription, it stands to reason that a morning-before pill should be.

This mitigates nothing. The morning after pill is required to be covered by insurers even if it is currently OTC.

In terms of ObamaCare no problem is solved by making birth control pills OTC.

NotCoach on July 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Why not? We seem to be embracing SSM. *roll eyes*

BigGator5 on July 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

I can tell you that “health concerns” that people have are used to hide religious objections to this. I have endured lectures from Catholic men (even priests) about the “dangers” of using the Pill and how they know more about my body than I do.

Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Oh go blow it out your air Catholic girl. I am a frickin agnostic who has actually worked in the medical industry and the LEGAL industry.

You see the wonderful feel good to this.. I see HEALTH ISSUES AND LAWSUITS…

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM

36 minutes. Is that a new record?
njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Carried over from headlines.

njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

I’m a cradle Catholic.. But I wouldn’t consider myself a good practicing Catholic who is in agreement with the Church. I did grow up Catholic and go to Catholic schools. I’ve heard all the “dog whistle” lectures about the “dangers of the Pill.” Really, rather than pretending to know more than medical professionals about contraceptives and the female reproductive system, Catholics against birth control should just be truthful about it.

Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Dangerous.
As is OTC plan B.

Sounds like a lot of folks just don’t care about that part.

pambi on July 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM

that’s what i was thinking. isn’t this dangerous?

People…this ruling was against 4 drugs, out of the 20 that are available…that makes it 16 other drugs that women can use.

This is blown so out of proportion, it’s embarrassing…

right2bright on July 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

yeah it’s sad how almost no one seems to know this.

Sachiko on July 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM

. Doctors don’t monitor this unless you’re constantly going to the doctor. They prescribe and that’s that. If you buy it OTC, you can tell your doc at your annual physical, just like you would if he/she prescribes it.

2. How many docs run through the contra-indicated drugs now? Hmmm? They barely have time to write the Rx and push you out the door. If you’re getting an Rx for contraindicated drugs, don’t you think that just maybe the docs should say “Oh and btw, if you’re on BCPs, …..”

melle1228 another vote for the nanny state. I don’t see where you voiced concern about the abortion pill being offered OTC to kids, which, I would think, have much greater potentially devastating consequences re bleeding, etc.

MistyLane on July 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

LMAO– Thinking a doctor who has gone to school for years should monitor long term drug usage means the “state.” And you have been going to the wrong doctor sweetheart, or maybe it is just your winning personality that makes them want to write you a prescription and push you out the door.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:19 PM

about the “dangers” of using the Pill and how they know more about my body than I do.

Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

An excerpt from Huffpo, the liberal standards…this is why it is dangerous and should be under drs. prescription.

Jaimie, Kaitlin and I are lucky to have caught ours early enough. About half of people who have blood clots show no symptoms, making it much harder to diagnose, and therefore, possibly fatal. Even those who survive might have life-long health problems. Kaitlin must take blood thinners indefinitely. Jaimie suffered from a blood infection. I became severely anemic and had to go to the ER, where they considered giving me a blood transfusion.

After my blood clot was resolved, I tried the Depo-Provera three-month shot because it contains a different hormone than the pill. I didn’t suffer from any physical problems, but I couldn’t handle the paranoia and stopped the shot after only three injections.

As daunting as the paranoia can be, I wasn’t concerned enough at the beginning. I’m fortunate that my parents forced me to go to the doctor when I thought I had just pulled a muscle.

right2bright on July 1, 2014 at 12:20 PM

36 minutes. Is that a new record?

njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

I don’t think so. That attention freak has a ways to go to get to bluegills or lourdes level of idiocy.

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:20 PM

I’m a cradle Catholic.. But I wouldn’t consider myself a good practicing Catholic who is in agreement with the Church. I did grow up Catholic and go to Catholic schools. I’ve heard all the “dog whistle” lectures about the “dangers of the Pill.” Really, rather than pretending to know more than medical professionals about contraceptives and the female reproductive system, Catholics against birth control should just be truthful about it.

Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Yes, yes, we all know you are a Catholic with your Catholic issues. Please stop pushing them on the rest of us..

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:20 PM

I’m a cradle Catholic.. But I wouldn’t consider myself a good practicing Catholic who is in agreement with the Church. I did grow up Catholic and go to Catholic schools. I’ve heard all the “dog whistle” lectures about the “dangers of the Pill.” Really, rather than pretending to know more than medical professionals about contraceptives and the female reproductive system, Catholics against birth control should just be truthful about it.

Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM

i always hear liberals talking about “dog whistles.” i rarely hear conservatives use that phrase. interesting!

Sachiko on July 1, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

No need to explain, dahlin, that’s been obvious since your original posts.
All pharmaceutical manipulation of hormonal balances bear consequences.
Some grave.

pambi on July 1, 2014 at 12:20 PM

I’m a cradle Catholic.. But I wouldn’t consider myself a good practicing Catholic who is in agreement with the Church. I did grow up Catholic and go to Catholic schools. I’ve heard all the “dog whistle” lectures about the “dangers of the Pill.” Really, rather than pretending to know more than medical professionals about contraceptives and the female reproductive system, Catholics against birth control should just be truthful about it.
Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM

So in other words, you’re NOT Catholic. Thanks for playing. Hope RogerB will save your words the next time you pretend to be Catholic I know I will.

njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM

OTC? This ain’t aspirin…

right2bright on July 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM

melle1228 another vote for the nanny state. I don’t see where you voiced concern about the abortion pill being offered OTC to kids, which, I would think, have much greater potentially devastating consequences re bleeding, etc.

MistyLane on July 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

BTW, I was sticking to topic. I have been commenting here for a while. If you want to know my opinion of the abortion pill being offered to children; look it up.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Loretta Lynn The Pill

Occams Stubble on July 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

As long as I’m not subsidizing it through my premiums or my tax dollars, that what I care about. If this ensures that outcome, fine by me.

Doughboy on July 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Except it doesn’t. ObamaCare covers even aspirin if a doctor prescribes it. Besides, this doesn’t really address the issues that existed in the Hobby Lobby case. Hobby Lobby was opposed to paying for abortifacients.

NotCoach on July 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Seems like a a good idea.
(And the fact that Cons can even consider it is evidence of the continued waning influence of Social Cons.)

But to entertain the politics of it –
HSAs are more and more common now.
I would assume that many of Hobby Lobby’s plans offer this. If BC is OTC (including Plan B, etc.) – would/should HL object to those purchases being HSA approved?
These funds are yours – though often built via a contribution from the company.
So would HL’s ‘religious freedom’ be denied or infinged if employees made certain BC purchases through their HSAs?

verbaluce on July 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

The GOP should learn when to keep its mouth shut and focus on the problems that face this country. Allowing women to buy birth control pills over the counter is not one of them.

HiJack on July 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Birth control, sure.

Abortifacients, no (though it appears they already are available w/out prescription).

Midas on July 1, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Make it as easy as buying a gun.

rogerb on July 1, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Women making their own choices and no government mandate. The socialists won’t go for that.

As for side effects. Those are on the package.

crankyoldlady on July 1, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Seems like a a good idea.
(And the fact that Cons can even consider it is evidence of the continued waning influence of Social Cons.)
verbaluce on July 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Of course you like this. Because when women start having blood clots; you and your ilk can say the GOP hates women. Or when oopsie pregnancies start happening because the pill interacted with another med- you can put another baby mama on your welfare rolls.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Yes, as a Catholic, I’ve already heard all the shoddy agenda based research about the evils of the Pill.
Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

First, I have many issues with the Catholic Church so I wouldn’t consider myself Catholic.
Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

36 minutes. Is that a new record?
njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Carried over from headlines.

njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

…nice catch!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

The GOP should learn when to keep its mouth shut and focus on the problems that face this country. Allowing women to buy birth control pills over the counter is not one of them.

HiJack on July 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

To your point, *preventing* it is also not one of them.

Midas on July 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

In theory, I support OTC. But I’m not sure how a patient would handle dosage adjustments for breakthrough bleeding, cramping, headaches, etc. There are many different dosages of pills. If OTC, how do you choose?

soozq on July 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM

It might just be me, but I fail to see the problem with any adult woman who wants to be sexually active getting a prescription and taking a little responsibility in following the instructions to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.

Hell, I would rather get the prescription for my daughter than have her (I have trouble writing sexually active and daughter in the same sentence) going around with no protection.

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM

They are dangerous even if you do follow the instructions to the letter.

And yes before someone jumps down my throat about aspirin, etc – yes I know that can be dangerous too but in most cases you have to overdose by a great deal before becoming ill.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Seems to me getting BC from PP amounts to the same thing, anyway.
To promote this concept for mere political advantage seems irresponsible.

pambi on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Should the GOP support over-the-counter sales of birth control pills?

Generally I would say yes but there does seem to be a lot of problems with this drugs lately. It’s seems like no sooner do you see ads coming out for a new one that you see recalls and lawsuits.

Rocks on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

To your point, *preventing* it is also not one of them.

Midas on July 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

That’s all well and good, but this is being framed in an entirely illegitimate manner. Doing this does nothing to solve the issue of religious freedom when it comes to who pays for abortifacients, or birth control. The pill will still being covered by insurers under ObamaCare whether it is OTC or not.

NotCoach on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Seems like a a good idea.
(And the fact that Cons can even consider it is evidence of the continued waning influence of Social Cons.)
verbaluce on July 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Of course you like this. Because when women start having blood clots; you and your ilk can say the GOP hates women. Or when oopsie pregnancies start happening because the pill interacted with another med- you can put another baby mama on your welfare rolls.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Thanks for that bit of inanity.
Anyway…

verbaluce on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Seems like a a good idea.
(And the fact that Cons can even consider it is evidence of the continued waning influence of Social Cons.)

But to entertain the politics of it –
HSAs are more and more common now.
I would assume that many of Hobby Lobby’s plans offer this. If BC is OTC (including Plan B, etc.) – would/should HL object to those purchases being HSA approved?
These funds are yours – though often built via a contribution from the company.
So would HL’s ‘religious freedom’ be denied or infinged if employees made certain BC purchases through their HSAs?

verbaluce on July 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

The pill isn’t one of the drugs HL has problems with, is it? They took no exception to 16 different contraceptives – what they took issue with were the abortifacients – those that abort *after* conception.

Midas on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Thanks for that bit of inanity.
Anyway…

verbaluce on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Ahh limited response, because you KNOW I am right.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Should the GOP support over-the-counter sales of birth control pills?

Generally I would say yes but there does seem to be a lot of problems with this drugs lately. It’s seems like no sooner do you see ads coming out for a new one that you see recalls and lawsuits.

Rocks on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

I’m sure attorneys can smell the lawsuits coming fast and furiously with OTC birth control. It will be inevitable.

hawkeye54 on July 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Get ready for the big/collapsing case

The Halbig case challenges the massive federal subsidies in the form of tax credits made available to people with financial need who enroll in the program. In crafting the act, Congress created incentives for states to set up health insurance exchanges and disincentives for them to opt out. The law, for example, made the subsidies available only to those enrolled in insurance plans through exchanges “established by the state.”

But despite that carrot — and to the great surprise of the administration — some 34 states opted not to establish their own exchanges, leaving it to the federal government to do so. This left the White House with a dilemma: If only those enrollees in states that created exchanges were eligible for subsidies, a huge pool of people would be unable to afford coverage, and the entire program would be in danger of collapse.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

The pill isn’t one of the drugs HL has problems with, is it? They took no exception to 16 different contraceptives – what they took issue with were the abortifacients – those that abort *after* conception.

Midas on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Verbadunce have has no idea what the specifics of anything are. No, Hobby Lobby wasn’t complaining about birth control pills, but 4 specific abortifacients.

NotCoach on July 1, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Only on three conditions: Full immunity for the drug manufacterer and their distributors (read, everyone who sells), illegal for children, and of course immediate ban on emergency care for OTC users. No one will pick up the tab for your stupid decisions.

nobar on July 1, 2014 at 12:31 PM

The administration’s loss in the Hobby Lobby case is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is not a lethal threat to Obamacare. For critics of the law, Halbig is everything that Hobby Lobby is not. Where Hobby Lobby exempts only closely held corporations from a portion of the ACA rules, Halbig could allow an mass exodus from the program. And like all insurance programs, it only works if large numbers are insured so that the risks are widely spread. Halbig could leave Obamacare on life support — and lead to another showdown in the Supreme Court.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2014 at 12:31 PM

I’m sure attorneys can smell the lawsuits coming fast and furiously with OTC birth control. It will be inevitable.

hawkeye54 on July 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

BINGO.. Not to mention “wrongful pregnancy” lawsuits which have been starting up. The minute a doctor prescribes an antibiotic that nullifies the pill; some woman will sue someone because she is not pregnant.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:31 PM

OT but I had to laugh, hitlery in the top slot at HA posts and not a comment in nearly an hour. Maybe everybody is just sick of her already. I hope so.

VegasRick on July 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Only on three conditions: Full immunity for the drug manufacterer and their distributors (read, everyone who sells), illegal for children, and of course immediate ban on emergency care for OTC users. No one will pick up the tab for your stupid decisions.

nobar on July 1, 2014 at 12:31 PM

+1000– I can agree to those terms.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

In addition to all the illegals being slipped through the system now

The administration’s loss in the Hobby Lobby case is a bitter pill to swallow, but it is not a lethal threat to Obamacare. For critics of the law, Halbig is everything that Hobby Lobby is not. Where Hobby Lobby exempts only closely held corporations from a portion of the ACA rules, Halbig could allow an mass exodus from the program. And like all insurance programs, it only works if large numbers are insured so that the risks are widely spread. Halbig could leave Obamacare on life support — and lead to another showdown in the Supreme Court.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Thanks for that bit of inanity.
Anyway…

verbaluce on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Unlike the object of your taunt, everything you write is inane leftist drivel.

They are dangerous even if you do follow the instructions to the letter.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Okay, but isn’t it the woman’s body? And haven’t we been told that the woman knows her body better than any man?

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Heck, I’m for putting the stuff in the drinking water of certain northeastern and western coastal cities.

M240H on July 1, 2014 at 12:33 PM

To your point, *preventing* it is also not one of them.

Midas on July 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

That’s all well and good, but this is being framed in an entirely illegitimate manner. Doing this does nothing to solve the issue of religious freedom when it comes to who pays for abortifacients, or birth control. The pill will still being covered by insurers under ObamaCare whether it is OTC or not.

NotCoach on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Then feel free to b1tch at the person to whom I replied, rather than taking my reply out of context.

I agree with you; the original poster, however, simply stated that the GOP had more important national issues to deal with, and providing these OTC wasn’t one of them.

Midas on July 1, 2014 at 12:33 PM

The FDA can de-regulate, but that wouldn’t stop states from regulating, such as warning lablels, age restrictions, etc.

Naked Emperor on July 1, 2014 at 12:33 PM

+1000– I can agree to those terms.

melle1228 on July 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Yep me too!

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:34 PM

I’m Pro-Life, and want to encourage our youth to delay sex; until marriage if possible. Nevertheless, the Birth Control Pill is preferable to the Morning-After Pill. Even when you’re married, you may end up using the Birth Control Pill.

LancerDL on July 1, 2014 at 12:34 PM

The pill isn’t one of the drugs HL has problems with, is it? They took no exception to 16 different contraceptives – what they took issue with were the abortifacients – those that abort *after* conception.

Midas on July 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Correct.
But it’s far from a consensus that these are all abortifacients.
Regardless, it was just announced that Plan B will be available OTC.
This was on HL’s ‘no’ list.
I’m curious if Plan B will qualify as an HSA purchase. I think it should and will – and if it does, it certainly raises the issues I suggest.

verbaluce on July 1, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I swear, another day goes by and Allahpundit makes another stupid argument.

How did this guy get to be someone of note on Hotair?

I don’t think there is any issue with making the pill available over the counter, but when he writes stupidity like this:

The culture war on this point is lost.

Ummmm, no.

That’s just it about the culture, it’s always changing. We can either go with the flow or we can influence our culture for the better (Or worse, as the case may be).

To say it’s lost is to give up. Which is what Republicans love to do. Which is why our culture continues to deteriorate into sublime recklessness.

The only way the culture war is lost is if we don’t fight. And what I’ve found is that many, like Allahpundit (Hell, he’s an atheist, what does he have to fight for?) don’t want to fight. They’d rather surrender or retreat to surrender another day.

With friends like this….

Baggi on July 1, 2014 at 12:35 PM

This was really yesterday’s BIG story and will be tomorrow’s, into the future.

Schadenfreude on July 1, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Okay, but isn’t it the woman’s body? And haven’t we been told that the woman knows her body better than any man?

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:33 PM

I consider myself a pretty put together, intelligent person and I didn’t know the warning signs of a blood clot until the pain got so unbearable I couldn’t breathe.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:37 PM

How did this guy get to be someone of note on Hotair?

Baggi on July 1, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Because he is usually pretty dang good.

Except for when he let you in.

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:37 PM

The potential social-con objection here isn’t to birth control itself, I think, as to the potential consequences of expanding access — more people, especially teenagers, having sex.

Yup.

Domenech deals with that argument by urging conservatives to face facts: Teens are already having lots of sex and the morning-after pill will be an option for them even if OTC birth control isn’t.

Which is why although I object, it’s hardly like I’m going to be apoplectic about it. What I find laughable are people saying that we should pass it so that we please the left. The left doesn’t like us and they’re not going to like us. The left is going to use lies and deceit regardless, and enacting this may prove politically expedient for 3 days of a news cycle, but does nothing to improve society.

The culture war on this point is lost.

Coming from the same guy who said amnesty was a sure fire thing to happen this year and that Cantor would win? Errrr… sure thing, AP. Whatever.

Stoic Patriot on July 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Why don’t we make healthcare OTC?

faraway on July 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Then feel free to b1tch at the person to whom I replied, rather than taking my reply out of context.

I agree with you; the original poster, however, simply stated that the GOP had more important national issues to deal with, and providing these OTC wasn’t one of them.

Midas on July 1, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Whether or not the pill becomes OTC is separate from ObamaCare, and should be seen as some sort of magical panacea for those who object to certain ObamaCare mandates on religious grounds. I didn’t think you saw it differently then that when I responded to you. I agree to agree with you, and I’m glad we agree. Agreed?

NotCoach on July 1, 2014 at 12:39 PM

I say bring it all OTC. Wouldn’t be the first legal, readily available thing I find morally objectionable.

Women who are concerned with how dosages would affect their health can still take their doctor’s recommendations under advisement. Women who just think its all free and easy will experience negative consequences for once in their life.

Morally Bad, Not Banworthy is a legitimate answer to many problems in society.

BKennedy on July 1, 2014 at 12:39 PM

The pros I can see on this idea:
1) Reduce the number of abortions
2) Reduce need for Planned Parenthood to provide weakest possible dosage to girls (to spur repeat business) while submitting claims that charge three times the OTC cost
3) Reduce need for schools to be involved in distribution of BC

The cons I can see on this idea:
1) Girls way too young buying BC without having physical exam first and without having proper instruction on how to use BC pills, what the side effects are, and how to watch out for the side effects
2) No exam to follow and ensure that adverse effects do not exist
3) (As others have mentioned) lawsuits galore

lineholder on July 1, 2014 at 12:40 PM

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Again, I agree. I wouldn’t take them without my doctors knowledge and consent. The libertarian streak in me would not take the OTC option away from hard headed women though.

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Look at all the conservatives pushing for more government regulation to protect all the idiots who cant figure things out for themselves… geez.

Yes make this OTC. I like the idea.

Dash on July 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Correct.

verbaluce on July 1, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Good to see you actually read the comments and have learned something.

NotCoach on July 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

It will be hilarious to watch the politics of this, which is exactly why the GOP should embrace it immediately.

The biggest reason for the contraception mandate in the first place was to get money from insurance companies to Planned Parenthood, which now provides contraceptives for free or at low cost to thousands of women. PP has to raise money to pay for this. PP loses the giant new source of revenue if the pills become available OTC for cheap. Who will drive to the next town to PP or risk being seen going into an abortion clinic when she can just go to the CVS down the street for the pills?

So you can expect to see some amazing arguments from the feminists against this if it is proposed. Hide and watch, suddenly there will be a million reasons why women MUST see a doctor and MUST go through their insurance company to get the pill.

rockmom on July 1, 2014 at 12:42 PM

True enough, but are social conservatives willing to concede that point when they’re also losing badly on gay marriage? Seeing the GOP, ostensibly the party of “values,”suddenly trying to one-up Democrats in making access to the pill easier might be too much at this particular cultural moment.

*sigh* Timing is not the issue to social conservatives, AP. We believe in a set of moral principles and a set of ideas concerning virtue and nobility. They are time-invariant, i.e., they are what they are, period. Thinking that timing is somehow going to make social conservatives more or less upset about an issue shows a gross misunderstanding of how social conservatives think.

Stoic Patriot on July 1, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Again, I agree. I wouldn’t take them without my doctors knowledge and consent. The libertarian streak in me would not take the OTC option away from hard headed women though.

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:41 PM

As long as the idiot women can’t sue who take 4 pills at once. This subject has a more personal meaning to me so I’m not exactly objective. I wouldn’t want anybody to go through what I went through.

I’m still pissed I have to wait in line at the pharmacy when I want to buy Sudafed.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM

yes.. the gop should support selling birth control over the counter.

mmcnamer1 on July 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Assuming that women can’t take responsibility for themselves to consult with a doctor unless required to by arbitrary government policy is absurd.

Absurd indeed. Women are perfectly capable human beings who can self-screen and still get themselves to a doctor’s office for professional health screenings.

I would also think supporting expanded access to oral contraception would make for good policy to any pro-life advocate.

lynncgb on July 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM

So in other words, you’re NOT Catholic. Thanks for playing. Hope RogerB will save your words the next time you pretend to be Catholic I know I will.

njrob on July 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM

About 80% to 90% of all Catholic women use birth control. There definitely aren’t many large Catholic families around. So I guess you’d consider most people “not Catholic.” And lots of Catholics who aren’t practicing still consider themselves Catholics; it is similar to being a Jew.

Illinidiva on July 1, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Speaking as a GYN, we are moving away from OCPs and pushing LARC hard. Long acting reversible contraception. Depo Provera. Nexplanon. The Mirena and ParaGard IUD.

Go ahead and put the pills over the counter. Patients don’t take them correctly. There was a study out of St Louis where women of all ages were given contraception free F-R-E-E. The percentage of women taking the pill after one year of FREE supply: 4 out of 10.

Marcus on July 1, 2014 at 12:46 PM

No.

If women want to ‘unpunish’ themselves with a baby, they can do it on their own dime.

Or, try to be a tad more thoughtful about spreading their legs.

CPT. Charles on July 1, 2014 at 12:46 PM

This subject has a more personal meaning to me so I’m not exactly objective.

gophergirl on July 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I have no problem with that. You have first hand experience.

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Okay, but isn’t it the woman’s body? And haven’t we been told that the woman knows her body better than any man?

cozmo on July 1, 2014 at 12:33 PM

….ummmmm no, you think a woman knows better than a doctor? Really?

The arguments get more foolish, as the posters get more desperate…

right2bright on July 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

I’m sure attorneys can smell the lawsuits coming fast and furiously with OTC birth control. It will be inevitable.

hawkeye54 on July 1, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Do you watch tv? Besides all the commercials for products for aging boomers the biggest thing is lawyers offering to sue for just about every drug you can think of. There will be law suits but there would be if it wasn’t OTC too.

crankyoldlady on July 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

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