WH Official on Birth Control Backlash: “I Didn’t Think It Would Be This Controversial”

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Ahead of the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act this Friday, the White House hosted a briefing with senior officials to tout the benefits the law has had for women so far. It was notable in light of the most recent health care reform related dustup over coverage of contraception.

Deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle and deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew rattled off the law’s many accomplishments—including the coverage of preventative services, the removal of lifetime limits on benefits, and an end to gender-based rate differences.

I asked if the Obama administration thinks the fight over contraception coverage in recent weeks has been advantageous.

“I guess I think that it does help to highlight the differences in approach,” said DeParle, though she noted it wasn’t a fight the White House sought out. The administration was simply following the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine on preventative care for women. “I’m shocked, honestly, at how much difference there is. It really surprised me. I didn’t think it would be this controversial.”

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate