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Spin Control

Posts tagged: birth control

Note to Sen. Murray: About that ‘50s reference. . .

Sen. Patty Murray, in the state Senate wings on Monday.

Sen. Patty Murray is getting some mileage out of a recent e-mail she sent out as head of the group that raises money to elect or re-elect Democrats to the Senate.

In it, Murray denounces both a comment by a prominent Rick Santorum supporter on “old-style”  birth control and an all-male panel discussing contraception in a House Committee.

I feel like I woke up this morning on the set of “Mad Men.” Republicans have set their time machine for the 1950s – back when, according to one prominent Republican, women could just “put aspirin between their knees” to avoid getting pregnant.

According to a follow -up from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Aspirin Agenda appeal  was a big hit on the money-raising circuit. Murray got mentioned on Meet the Press in a discussion of the controversy which is sometimes framed as being over contraception and other times being about  religious freedom.

Talking heads can argue that point on TV through the election if they want. It's your typically breathless, the sky is falling, “please give us your money before some deadline passes” appeal for campaing cash.

But Spin Control wants to point out one slight flaw in Murray's e-mail.

“Mad Men” is not set in the 1950s. It is set in the 1960s.

True, the '50s is probably considered a more Republican decade, with Ike in the White House, Joe McCarthy in the Senate and men in gray flannel suits. The '60s is probably viewed as the more Democratic decade, with JFK and LBJ, Civil Rights and anti-war protests, flower children, hippies and yippies.

But the adventures of Don Draper, et al, start in 1960, when the ad firm is hired to work on the presidential campaign of a young candidate, a World War II vet that many people see as his party's next generation of leaders. Richard Nixon.

Just sayin.

The full e-mail is inside the blog, for those who aren't on the DSCC list.

Regence fined for IUD policy

OLYMPIA — The state's second largest insurance company was fined $100,000 for improperly denying coverage to women seeking to remove a common birth control device.

Regence Blue Shield was also ordered to reimburse 984 women across the state for the cost of removing the intrauterine devices, the state Insurance Commissioner's office said.

Regence had a policy that paid for the insertion of an IUD, but wouldn't pay for its removal unless it was deemed “medically necessary.” That meant claims were denied for women who wanted their birth control device removed because they wanted to become pregnant or because the device was outdated.

Three women appealed the denial to the insurance company, but when they were denied again didn't take it any further. A fourth woman complained to the Insurance Commissioner's office, which ruled Regence's policy was violated a policy dating to the beginning of 2002 that requires insurance companies that cover prescription drugs must cover contraceptives and the procedures necessary to remove them.

The office reviewed Regence records back to 2002, and found 984 cases where women were improperly denied coverage. The company was ordered to reimburse them, with interest, at a cost of nearly $150,000. That's on top of the $100,000 fine the insurance company was ordered to pay the state.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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