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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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.”

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

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