Nope: Elizabeth Warren says the government shutdown was about birth control
posted at 9:21 pm on July 15, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham
“Remember last year’s government shutdown that nearly tanked our economy?” Warren asked. “That fight started with a GOP effort to hold the whole operation of the federal government hostage in order to try to force Democrats and the president to let employers deny workers access to birth control.”
“Well, we rejected the hostage-taking. Democrats said ‘no.’ The president said ‘no.’ The American people said ‘no’ to this offensive idea.”
The government shutdown occurred over a continuing resolution to fund the government since no budget could be agreed upon. Republicans used the opportunity to try and defund Obamacare.
Republicans were upset over the Obama administration’s selective enforcement of certain provisions in ObamaCare. The main problem the GOP had at the time was the announcement of a delay in the employer mandate.
Warren appears to be getting her claim from a 2011 Huffington Post article, which said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House would not vote for any spending bill containing funding for Planned Parenthood.
But that was 2011, and the government shutdown was in 2013.
For that, we have to go to another Huffington Post article that said Republicans voted on a bill that would delay much of Obamacare for one year, including the so-called conscience clause that was at issue in the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision.
Ace points out this isn’t the first time Warren has spun this tale. Back in 2013, at the time of the shutdown, she was saying the same thing because the entire strategy for this great, fresh intellectual hope of the Democratic Party is to yell about how no one can achieve anything outside the collective, and unless the collective provides every single necessity for basic living, free of cost, we are cast into the darkest of ages. It makes no difference to her that birth control was readily available to everyone, subsidized and provided free by the government, and covered by almost all employer-based insurance plans before a bureaucrat at Health and Human Services decided to force every employer in America to provide it without a copay, regardless of their religious beliefs. It was even available to Hobby Lobby employees before the Hobby Lobby case was decided and will remain available to them after that decision.
But no matter. This utter nonsense is what’s important. Here she is in 2013 explaining that the GOP thinks eliminating the birth control mandate in Obamacare is the most important thing in the world even though there’s no way you could argue that was central to the discussion. Yes, you can find discussion of it, but it was not nearly the driving force behind the shutdown. From Warren’s point of view, it is obviously of the utmost, sacred importance that this mandate be law, lest we go back to a time (circa 2010?) when women were incapable of getting birth control. So, with that in mind, I have a question for Sen. Warren. If this law is essential to escaping the crushing force of the patriarchy and preserving modernity, why didn’t Democrats put it in ObamaCare? It’d be just as disingenuous and, frankly, more substantiated to argue that the absence of the birth control mandate from the text of ObamaCare—it was added after the fact in one of the thousands of blanks left for unelected regulators—means Democrats who crafted the law from start to finish were bent on limiting women’s access to birth control. After all, they very explicitly did not make it a law that every employer provide free birth control when the power to do so was in their hands. That action is equivalent to turning back the clock on women to a time when birth control was prohibited. Or, so I’ve heard.
Exit video: Just because.
Correction: I changed Ashe Schow’s first name to the correct spelling.
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