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May 21, 2015 05:54 PM UTC

Cory Gardner Delivers Turd (As Promised!)

  • by: Colorado Pols

Suppose someone promised you that in June 2016, they would come to your house and kick you in the shins.

Now suppose it is June 2016, and this same person has just kicked you in the shins. Would you be upset over your newly-bruised legs, or would you congratulate that person for doing what they said they were going to do one year earlier? We like it when people keep promises, in part because it helps to validate our opinion of that person, but the contents of the promise are still important. Should we still applaud someone for keeping a shitty promise?

Enter Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), who introduced legislation today that he first outlined during the 2014 Senate race. As Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post explains:

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner today made good on his promise to push for over-the-counter contraceptives, introducing legislation to encourage drug manufacturers of “routine-use contraceptives” to file an application with the FDA to sell their products over the counter.

The Yuma Republican first brought up the idea last year in an opinion piece published in The Denver Post. At the time, the congressman was trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat…

…Planned Parenthood Votes claimed at the time that Gardner’s over-the-counter proposal actually took away coverage for birth control. When Democrats questioned Gardner on his positions about women and reproductive rights, he would point to his op-ed and say he didn’t want to place restrictions on contraceptives but expand access to them. But critics noted he still sponsored the federal Life Begins at Conception Act, which would ban common forms of birth control and abortion.

Planned Parenthood was not impressed with Gardner’s idea in 2014, and they’re still not happy about it. In a press release, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, had this to say:

“This bill is a sham and an insult to women. It would give women fewer birth control options and force women to pay twice for their birth control.”

Opposition to Gardner’s bill from the left has always been about the specific proposal, and not about agreement or disagreement with increasing access to birth control. Gardner’s bill would actually end up making contraception less available and affordable for women by making it too expensive: In order to make more options available over-the-counter, the bill first removes the requirement for insurance to cover birth control. Under Gardner’s bill, you might not need a prescription for certain contraceptives — you just won’t be able to afford them. Problem, not solved.

But hey, he did what he said he would do! 

Hooray, or something.


10 thoughts on “Cory Gardner Delivers Turd (As Promised!)

  1. OK. How about publishing a link to the bill; or a link to an in-depth analysis of the bill? The Bartels article is just an announcement and Planned Parenthood gives two rather empty sentences. Everything else is a repeat of the 2014 campaign.

    As a strong supporter of women being able to make their own health care decisions, I don't think this Pols article lends any support to that belief.

    1. Thing is the whole scheme means that instead of getting birth control covered as a prescription drug, it would be OTC out of pocket, making it less affordable/accessible, not more. Pretty transparent. Surprised you don't get it.

      1. Blue Cat, I do get it. But whatever the public opposition there is to Gardner's position is pretty lame. I suppose it's too much; in this age of Fox News, El Rushbo, and MSNBC; to expect anything more than 15 second sound bites.   C.H.B.

        1. CHB — I think the issue is pretty clear — the cost benefit of providing low/no cost contraceptives to those that need it (granted, that doesn't include you or me), is better than the alternative — more unwanted pregnancies, women not able to break the cycle of poverty, finish their education, get better jobs, fewer abortions, etc.

          Same arguments regarding the GOP's refusal to pick up and continue the highly successful program of providing low/no cost IUDs that resulted in a 40% drop in teen pregnancy in Colorado.  Does that sound like a lame position too?

        2. Agree. We shouldn't have to go searching for the details if the object is to promote understanding. We should get the most important details and a link to a good source for the rest.

    2. CHB, I'm with you – I'd like to see text of the bill, rather than just Gardner's self-serving promotion of it.  The number is SB1438, "Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act" and the actual bill text has not been received from the Government Printing Office, according to Popvox.

      So that's a bit weird, right there – Gardner's out there proclaiming himself to be a reproductive-rights champion on the basis of a bill which nobody has actually read. Govtrack gives the bill a 1% chance of being enacted, which sounds about right. Dems won't vote for it because it undermines the ACA provisions of insurance paying for contraception – and Republicans won't vote for it because it will encourage unwed sex, or pay for contraceptives that prevent implanting of fertilized eggs, or something.

      The bill, according to Gardner, has some interesting features, such as allowing people to use their Health Savings Accounts to pay for contraception, but it doesn't address the whole price issue, which is the point. Once insurance doesn't cover contraception anymore, the manufacturers would be free to jack up prices sky-high, as they've done on a number of generic drugs, and even if they don't, current price of $60-75 a month for uninsured birth control pills is much higher than the average insurance copay of $15 or so.

      If by some miracle, the bill makes it out of the Finance Committee, where it is now, and Gardner has to vote on it, he can just follow the time-honored precedent of voting against his own bill.

      So yeah, it allows Gardner to look like he's not anti-contraception, while accomplishing almost nothing and chips away at the ACA.

      1. Thanks for your update and I noted that in the "get smarter" column that Lynn Bartels has provided updates. Knowledge is power.

    1. One of the commenters to this Huffpost story referred to Cory as "the Smiling Assassin"…I kind of like that. Cory is, perhaps, the most morally bankrupt person I have ever met (well, there IS Doug Bruce to consider there). Anyone who trusts Cory to do anything except enrich himself and his friends (while shitting on everyone else) is a blind fool.

  2. Looks like the DP has full deflectors on.  I posted this an hour ago, and it's still under review for posting to The Spot. 

    Con Man Cory punk'd Colorado voters by pretending to be a moderate to win his senate seat. Now he wants to penalize women of child-bearing age by forcing them to pay full price for any contraceptives they need by this bait-and-switch deceptive legislation. 5 and a half more years of this garbage to go…

    I'm not gonna hold my breath.  BTW, did anyone else notice that the DP is off the market?  Apparently, the appraised value came in somewhere between zero and how much are you going to pay me to take this rag off your hands?  The CEO resigned as well.

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