Patterico's Pontifications


Sandra Fluke: Your Health Care Should Cover Gender Reassignment Surgery

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:58 pm

So we are now forced to endure the women of the View and Jake Tapper (Jake Tapper!) interviewing Sandra Fluke without asking her any questions about her activism, or the facts concerning how easily it is to actually get birth control ($9 per month for birth control pills in Georgetown).

Here is a new part of the story for Big Media to ignore.

The College Politico has discovered something very interesting about Ms. Fluke’s beliefs:

[B]irth control is not all that Ms. Fluke believes private health insurance must cover. She also, apparently, believes that it is discrimination deserving of legal action if “gender reassignment” surgeries are not covered by employer provided health insurance. She makes these views clear in an article she co-edited with Karen Hu in the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law. The title of the article . . . is “Employment Discrimination Against LGBTQ Persons” and was published in the Journal’s 2011 Annual Review.

Via The Other McCain, who observes:

This law school journal article is the sort of thing that might have been discovered about Fluke’s background, had the Democrats who put Fluke forward as a witness done so with the usual 72-hour advance notice. Here’s one brief quote from the article:

Transgender persons wishing to undergo the gender reassignment process frequently face heterosexist employer health insurance policies that label the surgery as cosmetic or medically unnecessary and therefore uncovered.

Now, imagine Fluke trying to defend this language about “heterosexist” policies in a public hearing, with Republican members of the committee questioning her about whether religious institutions (or private businesses, or taxpayers) should also be required to foot the bill for “gender reassignment.”

Congratulations, America: You’ve been scammed!

You know who I bet would have a good gag about this development?

Rush Limbaugh.

Does he have the balls to make the joke?

(Do you? Comments are open below!)

122 Responses to “Sandra Fluke: Your Health Care Should Cover Gender Reassignment Surgery”

  1. I have a pretty good one, but I’m worried about losing all those sponsors you see on the sidebar!

    Patterico (feda6b)

  2. And the faculty that is 100% behind this piece of work is worth $45K per annum.

    Burn DC to the ground.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  3. Why do you hate mannish shemales?

    JD (ddebbb)

  4. Maybe Rush doesn’t have balls, but if Ms. Fluke has her way, she soon will!


    I’ll be here all week try the veal g’night everybody

    Pious Agnostic (149706)

  5. my understanding is that people who have successful gender reassignment surgery consume far less contraception than they did prior.

    I don’t think slutty has thought this through.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  6. My guess is she’s a lesbian, NTTAWWT, and that’s why she’s advocating for gay rights privileges.

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  7. I do not care whether or not a particular insurance company, of which I am not a subscriber, covers contraception, gender reassignment surgery, or conversion therapy.

    I do care if the government mandates that such things be covered.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  8. If this woman wants balls maybe she can borrow Jake Tapper’s set. He surely isn’t using them.

    Noodles (3681c4)

  9. Alas, I can’t come up with a good joke (although her hair kind of reminds me of my kindergarten teacher, a strict woman of German background, who, for some reason, both I and my sister, two years later imagined as having a penis. Because of her strictness? Anyhoo. There is a resemblance in appearance.).

    To say the least, there is no reason for taxpayers to pay for sex changes. This is as elective as elective can get.

    For goodness sakes, buy a double dildo, ladies.

    Random (4d8947)

  10. Jake Tapper works for the same people whose ESPN fires people on the spot for offending socialist obamawhores like slutty.

    And he knows it.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  11. It’s such a farce.
    Jake Tapper depressed me when he told Patterico and Ace that his story wasn’t about finding the truth behind her Congressional testimony.

    That much was obvious, Jake.

    MayBee (081489)

  12. He started out working for Salon, which was nutroots before it had a name, and made his
    bones there, insinuating Bush stole the election
    in Florida, one of the reasons I don’t trust him.

    narciso (87e966)

  13. Really?

    OK, she put herself up there to testify; she’s maybe a fair target on that basis, but that’s not why she’s getting heat – she’s getting heat because of Limbaugh. It seems to me that that’s totally unjust and out of proportion with her perceived sins.

    And what Limbaugh said was stupid and dickish. There’s no reason to make her a further target to try to defend Rush; this is furthering an ad hominem attack. It’s moving the goalposts; the issue here should be Limbaugh, a standard-bearer for my party who should not be.

    She supports liberal causes? Say it ain’t so! I don’t care. I want Rush Limbaugh to stop embarrassing the party. And this is an utter embarrassment.

    Finally, there’s just no reason to take apart Sandra Fluke/Joe the Plumber/911 widows/Whoever personally when they end up on the “wrong” side of the debate.


    JRM (cd0a37)

  14. So not vasectomies because……..?????
    Has anybody asked Obama this?

    (not that I think any of it should be mandated. I just can’t think of the medical reason to cover female contraception/surge

    MayBee (081489)

  15. oops

    surgery and not male)

    MayBee (081489)

  16. I like him. That’s why this fail stood out so much. Nobody would expect David Gregory to do anything different.

    MayBee (081489)

  17. It’s too bad about Jake. He once had promise. Maybe, like Whittaker Chambers, he thinks the right is the losing side. Some days I wonder.

    Mike K (326cba)

  18. maybe she used to be Steve Fluke ???

    JeffC (e40e3a)

  19. Rush already has available the vocabulary to deal with this topic. For years he has referred to such surgical procedures as Addadictomy and Choppadicktomy.

    interested (e24c16)

  20. Limbaugh had many things he could have said about Fluke that would have been quite apt. Instead he beclowned himself, and scored an “own goal”.

    Pity. Now the best thing he can do is shut up. First Rule of Holes.

    Mut the damage is worse. He may have given this woman a free pass to spew all kinds of BS without response, since the media will just paint any criticism of Fluke as more of the same.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  21. Actually Rush was being fairly conventional in his criticism, remember the facts of the case, don’t matter, ask Glenn Beck about that.

    narciso (87e966)

  22. Wait.

    So Obama is having a press conference on Super Tuesday?

    Ha ha ha ha hah a haha

    MayBee (081489)

  23. He is very transparent, MayBee, no?

    JD (318f81)

  24. Issa should reconvene that committee and put her under Oath.

    JD (318f81)

  25. Mizz Fluke had the balls . . . past tense.

    Icy (a53438)

  26. It’s amazing how the media’s narrative can fluke-uate.

    Now, if Rush talks of hormones, will the media accuse him of being a John?

    Ed from SFV (c11180)

  27. She also, apparently, believes that it is discrimination deserving of legal action if “gender reassignment” surgeries are not covered by employer provided health insurance.

    My guess is Ms. Fluke believes absolutely nothing should be refused by employer health insurance and everything that is refused would fall under the very convenient discrimination category.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  28. Employer provided healthcare insurance should be mandated to cover free Reebok running shoes, free S-Works Shivs, free Propel, free gym memberships, free Cole Haan’s, free iPads, and free boob jobs for those who may otherwise need them.

    JD (318f81)

  29. for my money i think that the fight against this mandate should still focus on the morning after abortion pill, not birth control or gender reassignment surgery.

    yes the latter is especially silly. but the abortion thing is an outrage that even most pro-choice people get. they are forcing them to fund what their conscience calls murder.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  30. Ms Fluke’s future paramours? Prime candidates for gender-identity reassignment surgery.

    Icy (a53438)

  31. Which gender is being discriminated against by the denial of gender reassignment surgery?

    JD (318f81)

  32. JD,

    It’s about reproductive justice!

    Dana (4eca6e)

  33. Wrong thread, but worth your attention, if you haven’t read it… “Chasing Andrew”:

    Colonel Haiku (fddb79)

  34. Miss Fluke’s favorite song: “Riding on the Metro”

    [bonus points for knowing two reasons why this is relevant]

    Icy (a53438)

  35. “A seated President is openly demonizing our best and brightest, stoking the embers of class-envy, courting mob violence and racial animus, ruling by fiat, bypassing Congress, brazenly defying court orders, and publicly expressing admiration for the “efficiency” of totalitarianism.”

    My blood boils.

    Colonel Haiku (fddb79)

  36. for my money i think that the fight against this mandate should still focus on the morning after abortion pill, not birth control or gender reassignment surgery.

    this is very smart thinking cause what this whole kerfuffle did is make me realize is that I’m just not gonna use any sizable percentage of my one god-given life to defend the catholic church’s right to have incredibly silly contraception doctrines, especially after they enthusiastically lent their support to all the oppressive crap in obamacare what tramples so heartily on other people’s rights

    Though honestly I don’t think the morning after pill is very aborty in practice, just in a highly theoretical yeah it could happen way. But at least they wouldn’t sound quite so doofusy if they planted their flag on that hill.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  37. swimming thru apologies and searching for the perfect words, icy.

    Colonel Haiku (fddb79)


    This would improve my physical fitness and overall wellbeing more than a boob job.

    JD (318f81)

  39. She’d make a splendid Frederica Fluke. One would have the Volga Boatman’s Song (as sung by the Red Army Choir) running thru one’s mind as one labored on top of underneath sweaty Frederica Fluke.

    Colonel Haiku (fddb79)

  40. If her Aunt had nutz she would be her Uncle, and denying her that Right is employment and gender discrimination.

    JD (318f81)

  41. I’m just not gonna use any sizable percentage of my one god-given life to defend the catholic church’s

    First they came for the Catholics, but I wasn’t Catholic…
    then they came for my feets, and there was no one left to help…

    yes, yes, yes, I know invoking Neimoller is a bit over the top here, but if one can’t make an over the top remark concerning feets, why, there would be no reason to have any over the top comments at all

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  42. for $12,700 they could throw in a boob job too I would think

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  43. Happy – I only hope to get strong enough to make it worth my while to purchase one.

    JD (318f81)

  44. yes it’s a slippery slope Mr. MD but you know what?

    I just can’t get excited.

    The other day I met one of these contraception womens I think. You know – the kind where you can do all kinds of sex stuff with them and no worries nobody’s gonna get pregnant. She was really pretty too!

    I remember wondering if I should tell her what Rick Santorum says about the contraceptions. You know… just to break the ice.

    But I think she saw me looking at her and she pretended she got a phone call and wandered off.

    I think one of the side effects of the contraception must be it makes people rude.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  45. Mr. JD I would bet you that those thingers retain a good amount of resale value.

    Not that I know anything about it, but it’s worth exploring.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  46. They do, they do. But if I get fast enough to ride one without embarrassing myself, I will most certainly do so.

    JD (318f81)

  47. And my employers health insurance should pay for it or it is discrimination.

    JD (318f81)

  48. Ms. Fluke is the Cindy Sheehan of 2012. Her vagina speaks with absolute moral authority. But I want to hear it sing the national anthem.

    Anchovy (9f9bf0)

  49. this slut needs her box filled with concrete, we don’t need anymore one parent queer’s.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  50. really?

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  51. Her vagina speaks with absolute moral authority. But I want to hear it sing the national anthem.

    The Vagina Monotones?

    Colonel Haiku (fddb79)

  52. When you go so far over the top that even happyfeet says really, you have accomplished something.

    JD (318f81)

  53. Well, there goes another thread. Jeez.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  54. the misogyny
    is most unacceptable
    and untenable

    Colonel Haiku (fddb79)

  55. A new 3D projector for my theatre is cheaper than a addadikectomy or a cutadikectomy, and far better for my mental well being. I will petition my insurer for same and it is discrimination against sports fans if they refuse.

    JD (318f81)


    This will also improve my physical and mental well being therefore someone else should pay for it.

    JD (318f81)

  57. There are so many great things to attack in this proposal, mandate, whatever.

    First, the religious liberty argument. That’s the easiest. Then there’s the “let’s force insurance companies to provide something for free” angle. Nothing is free, no matter how badly someone thinks it’s their “right” or whatnot. Then there are the lies about the costs. And I don’t know if it was here or at ace’s, but someone brought up the fact that planned parenthood gets federal funding for providing cheap contraception; if a college student can’t get birth control for under a grand a year, then PP has failed and we should defund it.

    And miss fluke has lied about everything else so far, why couldn’t she be mr fluke?

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  58. Oh, and I got a vasectomy for a $10 copay with Kaiser Permanente.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  59. _______________________________________________

    She also, apparently, believes that it is discrimination deserving of legal action if “gender reassignment” surgeries are not covered by employer provided health insurance

    Keep this up and we’ll become a bigger version of Greece (or Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, etc) in no time.

    A sense of self-entitlement up the wazoo (or the ultimate form of greed—ie getting something for nothing) has become quite pervasive here and elsewhere, in our hip, compassionate, loving, tolerant, modern, sophisticated era. So the following can be adjusted to “when the people find they can vote themselves money from laws forced upon the private sector…”

    “When the people find they can vote themselves money from the treasury, that will herald the end of the republic.” — Benjamin Franklin

    Mark (31bbb6)

  60. Oh, and I got a vasectomy for a $10 copay with Kaiser Permanente.
    Comment by Ghost — 3/5/2012 @ 8:14 pm

    — Ghostette?

    Icy (a53438)

  61. This woman is obviously a heterophobe. NOH8!

    Noodles (3681c4)

  62. 58- I hope that came with Jack Herer!

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  63. Icy,
    I still got the balls, just detoured the road.
    I was Mormon at the time, unfortunately.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  64. She’s a MARXIST. She is ONE OF THEM. She is all for ANYTHING that is FREE for her and her comrades.

    And that is why the MSM likes her.

    Gus (694db4)

  65. Gus:

    That may be true, but the whole all-caps thing is not the best way to go.

    You know, because it sets you off as a troll, plus this is not the right forum to try to prove to your buddies that conservatives are h8terz and all.

    That doesn’t work here.

    Ag80 (b0b671)

  66. Might be interesting to ask who’s paying the tuition at GT law.

    mojo (4a9666)

  67. Thanks Ag80. I appreciate your input.

    Gus (694db4)

  68. “Sandra Fluke is not what she is being sold as. Instead she is a liberal activist pushing some rather radical ideas.”–The College Politico

    Instead, she’s a communist totalitarian, just like her pals in the Democrat Party, is more like it.

    Also…she’s a slut. As are all Democrats and communists.

    There isn’t one of them who hasn’t prostituted their talents (such as they are) in the service of spreading the vile plague of totalitarinism…and that’s the kind of prostitution that absolutely turns my stomach.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  69. Sandra Fluke is not what she is being sold as.

    but then neither is Romney

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  70. Happyfeet, I’ll take Romney over Fluke.

    Gus (694db4)

  71. “Does he have the balls to make the joke?”

    “(Do you?)”

    I would never make fun of leftards, their curious ideas, or their never ending desire to force the rest of us to pay for their bizarre lifestyle choices.

    That’s because I believe we should be civil and respectful at all times, even when we’re dealing with quasi-human, commie, prostitutes, like Fluke.

    No offense, Sandra.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  72. Dave Surls. I agree. Specifically about the COMMIE part.

    Gus (694db4)

  73. I’ll take Romney over Fluke

    — Well, for nine bucks a month at WallyWorld you could “take” . . .

    Icy (e7b40c)

  74. swimming thru apologies and searching for the perfect words, icy.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku — 3/5/2012 @ 7:21 pm

    Is that it?

    lasue (983fc3)

  75. my understanding is that people who have successful gender reassignment surgery consume far less contraception than they did prior.

    But you still must provide them with free contraceptives if they ask for them.

    Which reminds me of the obvious:

    Rogers: Why are you always on about women, Stan?
    Stan: I want to be one.
    Reg: What?
    Stan: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to
    call me Loretta.
    Reg: What?
    Loretta: It’s my right as a man.
    Judith: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
    Loretta: I want to have babies.
    Reg: You want to have babies?!
    Loretta: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants
    Reg: But…you can’t have babies!
    Loretta: Don’t you opress me!
    Reg: I’m not opressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb.
    Where is the foetus going to gestate? You’re going to keep
    it in a
    Loretta: Sniff.
    Judith: Here, I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he
    can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is
    fault, not even the Romans’, but that he can have the right
    to have babies.
    Rogers: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for
    your right to have babies, brother. Sister! Sorry.
    Reg: What’s the point?
    Rogers: What?
    Reg: What’s the point of fighting for his right to have
    babies, when he can’t have babies?
    Rogers: It is symbolic of our struggle against opression.
    Reg: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  76. Ms Fluke, what is your position on abortion?

    Pro-choice! Pro-choice!

    And what is your position on conscience exemptions for religious institutions?

    NO choice! NO choice!

    Icy (e7b40c)

  77. Pelosi stages a pony show and Fluke steps into the spotlight.

    One might conclude that she’s done pony shows before.

    Icy (e7b40c)

  78. Ms Fluke, would holding an aspirin between the knees be an effective method of contraception for you?

    Well, that depends. How thick is the aspirin?

    Icy (e7b40c)

  79. JRM,

    She put herself up there to testify; she has remained in the spotlight; she has told lies; she has become a media darling.

    She is fair game, on fair issues, like crazy shit she has said. Like what this post was about.

    Rush acted like a jerk. That does not make Sandra a helpless person beyond criticism.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  80. Ms Fluke, will you graciously accept Mr Limbaugh’s apology?

    Fluke Limbaugh!

    Icy (e7b40c)

  81. Perhaps Ms Fluke should take the bull by the horns so to speak and with other like minded individuals, corporations and political parties start their own university offering courses suitable to their political and societal leanings,and include appropriate health care coverage.
    Let’s call it: FLUKE U.

    Lewis Colby (5e811e)

  82. “Rush acted like a jerk.”

    That, I disagree with.

    I’ve seen Limbaugh act like a jerk, and say things that were uncalled for, but not this time.

    Whatever anyone says about Fluke and her handlers in the Democrat Party…it ain’t bad enough. They’re a pack of armed robbers and tyrants, and ANY insult directed at them is well merited.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  83. Every single poster child hauled out to weep for the cameras in dem health care campaigns has been a fraud.
    Every. Single. One.

    Richard Aubrey (a75643)

  84. The best response to Ms. Testimony’s appearance before congress was never personal attacks, but to kill it by suffocation; her testimony was simply worthless because it rests on a faulty premise that the feeral government should be in charge of such things.

    It would have, without the sideshow, been easy to quietly discount her testimony by her political views, her associations and advocacy career. The unsoundness of the idea that the government should be in charge of who get’s what service at what cost, or privileging one service over another is enough.

    Point out how that backfires depending on who is in power. Don’t give away that power.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  85. “One might conclude that she’s done pony shows before.”

    Icy – Tijuana?

    Call PETA!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  86. It’s not my fault I am a man born in a woman’s body. Of course everyone should chip in and right this wrong.

    While we’re on the subject, my parents didn’t provide for me when I was growing up. We didn’t have a pool, color TV, belong to a country club, have a beach house, and so on. It is not my fault I was born to those savages! We all have the right to parental reassignment. And the government should pay to fix it.

    Ed (3f15d7)

  87. Clearly, the controversy is about government coverage of the price of recreational sex. I don’t recall any point that the constitution requires the government to pay for recreation of any kind. It is even difficult to get it under the scope of the much abused Commerce Clause since interstate commerce in sexual activity is against the law. The question before the forum is therefore: Should the government require insurance policies to cover other forms of recreation such as movies, TV, ball games, etc.

    EFW (9f5815)

  88. Many women have bad reactions to generic contraceptive pill—maybe that’s the 40% that Sandra Fluke is speaking of according to the Weekly Standard article cited in the quote taken from NPR by this Pontification.

    The reasons for these potential problems is suggested by the following:

    “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has looked at the issue of brand-name versus generic oral contraception. It noted that doctors and patients “have questioned whether [these] products are clinically equivalent and interchangeable, as effective in preventing pregnancy, and have similar occurrences of side effects,” in a committee statement published in August 2007.”

    tadcf (6f3ab1)

  89. That damn FDA. They’ll approve anything with hardly any testing at all! We need more bureaucrats testing the efficacy of contraceptives, that’s what we need!

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  90. I am shocked that tadcf is providing rhetorical cover for a liar.

    JD (7430dd)

  91. JD – You could feed Sandra a bunch of those antidepressants that don’t work to suppress her sex drive, then she would not need people to pay for her contraception, except for regularly covered medical purposes prescribed by her doctor.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  92. Her costs for birth control may be fairly low, but the cost of safe sex might run into real money. If she turns 600 tricks a year, the cost of condoms could be considerable.

    BarSinister (99d480)

  93. This is especially sad since I suspect the Catholic Church knew these Alinsky-style tactics would be used (e.g., individuals infiltrating the church and using tolerance as a guise to subvert its principles) but it still couldn’t stop it. The only ways for the Church to stop this were either to use government power in the short term or trust transparency, information and reason to empower people in the long term.

    The government should protect religion but it’s a slippery slope in today’s world. The more you seek government protection, the more it opens the door to government regulations. If it’s not too late, it’s better to trust transparency, information and reason — it’s smarter and IMO the Christian response — but it’s no wonder Obama and the Democrats prefer government mandates. Perhaps that’s even why Obama pines for the ease and convenience of being President of a totalitarian/authoritarian state like China.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  94. Freedom times security equals a constant, DRJ. The more of the former, the less of the latter. Always.

    The progressives don’t mind, since they expect only people like themselves to wield power. Hence their incredible hypocrisy.

    Simon Jester (63c73b)

  95. Is Pfleger (Obama’s Hillary Clinton Hater) Catholic?

    MayBee (081489)

  96. That’s true, Simon. After 9/11, many conservatives worried that government was watching and controlling us more in public places and on public transportation. Now many liberals worry that government will watch and control their sexual lives. Are these two sides to the same coin?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  97. I think Pfleger is a Catholic priest, MayBee. He was suspended last year, but for objecting to leaving his parish and not for his political views. He was reinstated a month later after apologizing.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  98. Many women have bad reactions to generic contraceptive pill—maybe that’s the 40% that Sandra Fluke is speaking of

    So instead of $9 a month it’s $26 a month.

    That is not $3000, or $87 z month.

    She radically inflated the price of something and extended the duration in her example to three years as well. Why? Because the democrats like to use absurd examples to justify exceptions to our fundamental rights… which also mean making our rights at their discretion. And every time they win, they follow up with how this is precedent.

    $3000 was a dishonest figure for birth control. Fluke owes the American people an apology for her dishonest attack on religious freedom.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  99. The progressives don’t mind, since they expect only people like themselves to wield power.

    Great point, Simon. The democrats will be very upset when a GOP president notes Obama’s excesses as precedent when he goes beyond the powers we understood the president to have in 2007. Of course, they get away with this kind of contradiction all the time, but the damage is done and every president runs into challenges that tempt abusing his power.

    More generally, all this control of our private business is predicated on how those in control are liberals and therefore ‘right’.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  100. _________________________________________

    the issue of brand-name versus generic oral contraception.

    I’m sure the big drug companies aren’t exactly bothered by comparisons in which they’ll come out in shining glory.

    If the leftwing OWS crowd wants to focus on a part of corporate America that deserves to have a stink raised about it, I admit I won’t be too bothered if their ire is directed at Big Pharma. Even more so since pharmaceutical companies have been among the major boosters of Obamacare and are helping make the cost of medical care higher than it otherwise would be.

    If there is an unholy cabal (or crony capitalism to the max) that will happily be in bed with Obama, or will be enablers to one another, it can be identified by reading between the lines of this text:, February 2012: The medical community is abuzz over recent statements made by Irving Kirsch, the Associate Director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School.

    On February 19, “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl interviewed Kirsch, who essentially stated that antidepressant prescription drugs are a giant, fraudulent waste of money. He said so in far less offensive terms, of course, but he said it nonetheless.

    And the pharmaceutical industry knows very well how to interpret his report that “the difference between the effect of a placebo and the effect of an antidepressant is minimal for most people.”

    As CBS News states, “Kirsch’s views are of vital interest to the 17 million Americans who take the drugs, including children as young as six, and to the pharmaceutical industry that brings in $11.3 billion a year selling them.”

    Kirsch, who has his Ph.D. in psychology, has put 36 years into studying the placebo effect: the positive physical and psychological influence of dummy drugs on patients. So he has a solid academic leg to stand on when he says that placebos work nearly or just as well as the real deal in treating irritable bowel syndrome, repetitive strain injuries, ulcers and Parkinson’s disease, among other physical disorders.

    If true, his postulation begs the question: If patients’ minds and bodies can be so thoroughly faked out, where does that leave the pharmaceutical industry? With more and more North Americans and Europeans taking medication for a myriad of complaints, a strong argument can be made that the West just needs to suck it up and deal with it.

    [T]he American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders tried to add shyness and common grief – such as at the loss of a loved one – to the list of listed disorders, all but demanding more drugs be prescribed.

    During the “60 Minutes” interview, [Kirsch] cited a study of osteoarthritic patients where some participants received actual knee surgeries and others were merely cut open and sewed right back up. The researchers actually found that the latter group could walk and climb better than their actually-operated-upon fellow lab rats for a full year. After the two-year mark “there was no difference at all between the real surgery and the sham surgery.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  101. From Tina Korbe’s post on the Morgan interrogation of Bachmann:

    “2.The interview is also a nice piece of evidence that it’s not GOPers who are obsessed with social issues. Fact is, folks like Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann can’t not engage on social issues because (a) MSM interviewers will never not bring them up and (b) MSM interviewers won’t just let conservative opinions stand; they’ll push for an explanation. When’s the last time you’ve seen an interview like this in reverse — a show host pushing a lib for an explanation as to why they support gay marriage?”

    Libtards, regardless of the fall on the Left/Right divide, intimating that this discussion on social issues originated with the ultra conservatives is a bold-faced lie.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  102. “maybe that’s the 40% that Sandra Fluke is speaking”

    Yeah, and maybe she just pulled that $3,000 figure out of her fat ass, like lying little political whores employed by the Democrats do about ten thousand times a day.

    But, whether it’s one dollar or three thousand dollars, I ain’t paying for birth control for people who attend universities that cost $40,000 a year. They can pay their own damned bills.

    I’m not paying taxes so that the government can force me onto health insurance, and them force health insurance providers to give rich kids at Georgetown cut rate birth control, which is ultimately going to paid for by me. That’s just theft, and I’m not interested in paying people to rob me blind. I’m paying taxes so the government will secure my rights, like it says in the founding document of this country.

    And, if they continue to use government to steal from me (taking my rights away, instead of securing my rights) and give my money to people like Sandra Fluke, then I’m going to exercise my right to alter or abolish the government.

    Whic, IMO, we should have done a long time ago.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  103. According to the Planned Parenthood (PLANNED PARENTHOOD!) website birth control costs $15-$50 per month. At the high end that’s less than half the cost of your average college student’s daily outlay at Starbucks.

    This has nothing to do with a student’s ability to pay, and everything to do with the fast-spreading disease known as the Entitlement Mentality (Marxismus Nannystatus).

    Obamacare specifically extends the age under which young people are covered by their parents’ policy to 26 so that there will be nothing for college students to worry about when it comes to health care.

    It’s all about “equality” enforced at the end of a federal governing rule-of-law gun.

    Icy (e7b40c)

  104. “60 Minutes” Segment on Antidepressants “Irresponsible and Dangerous”

    “ARLINGTON, Va. (Feb. 22, 2012) — A segment, aired Sunday night on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” claiming there is no effective difference between antidepressants and placebos is, “…not just wrong, but irresponsible and dangerous reporting,” said the President of the American Psychiatric Association John Oldham, M.D.

    The story, which centers around a study conducted by psychologist Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., claims that placebos are just as effective as antidepressants in the treatment of depression even though Kirsch’s conclusions were widely discredited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicine Agency (EMA), and clinical psychiatrists. Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., a psychiatrist and world-renowned expert on psychopharmacology noted that, “Kirsch has badly misinterpreted the data and his conclusion is at odds with common clinical experience. He has communicated a message that could potentially cause suffering and harm to patients with mood disorders.” Dr. Lieberman went on to say, “There is abundant evidence that supports the efficacy of antidepressants above and beyond the effects of placebo.”

    The American Psychiatric Association (APA) acknowledges medications aren’t always the first choice in treating depression and the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) recognizes that depression occurs with differing levels of severity. The APA’s Treatment Guidelines on depression recommend psychotherapy first for mild to moderate depression, and only after this approach falls short should the physician decide whether or not antidepressants are needed in conjunction with psychotherapy.

    The APA’s claims on the effectiveness of antidepressants are supported and documented through the work of the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for drug licensing in the United States. The FDA carefully reviews years of studies before making the decision to approve medications for specific treatments and have consistently approved and upheld the effectiveness of various antidepressant medications…….”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  105. The Democrats didn’t want Sandra Fluke to be a witness. What the Other McCain is giving is a reason for the rule about advance notice, but the democrats did NOT want to put Sandra Fluke up as a witness.

    They wanted to pretend that they had wanted her to be a witness, and the Republicans didn’t want her to be a witness because they weren’t interested in hearing from “women” or real live cases of people affected by the regulation.

    Having her stopped from being a witness would attract far more attention to what she had to say, and it would all go without any challenge.

    They did this because this was a losing issue for President Obama and the Democrats, so they needed to shut the Republicans up, and they mostly did.

    The key point, and not even for the hearings, but for press releases (which have to be done at the point in time when the media is interested in the story) is not really what else Sandra Fluke was for, but simply that Sandra Fluke was not a typical college student and her interests were not limited to contraception.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  106. “They wanted to pretend that they had wanted her to be a witness, and the Republicans didn’t want her to be a witness because they weren’t interested in hearing from “women” or real live cases of people affected by the regulation.”

    Sammy – I thought Republicans did not want her as a witness because the issue was the constitutionality of the mandated coverage and limited conscience exemptions coming out of HHS, not the availability, cost and access to contraception as the Democrats have framed the issue.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  107. daley, shhhh . . . Sammy’s a-thunking.

    Icy (e7b40c)

  108. Comment by Aaron Worthing — 3/5/2012 @ 7:08 pm

    It’s a contraceptive pill, Aaron. It disrupts ovulation. It has absolutely no effect on an established pregnancy and there is no direct evidence of interference with implantation. The short window of action conforms with the evidence that the mechanism to prevent pregnancy is ovulation suppression.

    “Abortion pill” is a misnomer. It’s a contraceptive, not mifepristone.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  109. Also the drum to beat is not an exaggerated fury over post coital use of levonogestrel.

    That argument accepts half the proressive premise that worthiness of a drug or its conformation with anyone’s given conscience is the determining and overriding issue. That’s not it. The drum to beat is goverment control. It wouldnt matter if Ms What’s her name this week was promoting appendectomies without copay – it would be just as wrong.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  110. Imagine an employer that refused to provide coverage for any drug that was developed by testing on rabbits or primates or animals in general.

    THAT’s AOK with me. It wouldn’t be ok for the government to say an employer can’t offer group insurance without full, no-copay coverage of such drugs.

    If employer-based insurance raises issues of cost and access (and it does) the solution lies in making private purchase of health insurance the new paradigm.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  111. Comment by Icy — 3/6/2012 @ 12:01 pm

    daley, shhhh . . . Sammy’s a-thunking.

    I’m not thinking. I was doing other things. I see that what I said apparently wasn’t parsed correctly.

    Now I’m thinking – what’s going on. The original hearing at which Sandra Fluke was excluded took place all the way back on February 15!!

    The CNN video is from an unofficial “hearing” held a week later, which is still more than a week before Rush Limbaugh made his comments.

    They wanted to pretend:

    1) that they had actually wanted her to be a witness, and

    2) [that] the Republicans didn’t want her to be a witness because they weren’t interested in hearing from “women” or real live cases of people affected by the regulation.

    They wanted to pretend two [2] things.

    They didn’t want her to be a witness – it would have attracted no attention or not any of the kind of news coverage and attention that they would get later at their staged compensatory make-up “hearing” showcasing her.

    They wanted the issue.

    They also had to supply a false reason for why she was rejected. They had just about guaranteed the Republicans wouldn’t take her.

    Sammy – I thought Republicans did not want her as a witness because the issue was the constitutionality of the mandated coverage and limited conscience exemptions coming out of HHS, not the availability, cost and access to contraception as the Democrats have framed the issue.

    Yes, but I’m reading this technical thing too.

    She didn’t belong on that panel though. She was talking about the alleged necvessity of the coverage.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  112. The Democrats claimed on Feb 16 that tehy had always wantesd two witneses:

    This is the prepared testimony of Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United For Separation of Church and State, whom the Democrats pulled back at the last minute, and told not to come:

    Alternative URL:

    Excerpt: “No one would argue that a religious employer could legally object to an employee using
    money from her paycheck to pay for contraceptives. Why then should the religious
    employer have the right to object to a woman obtaining contraceptives from an insurance
    company when the employer has no connection to that coverage?…

    (The counterargument is that that affects the price, and it’s not like using money from her paycheck. If it is, what’s the problem? The Democrats had to make an argument that it was extremely expensive and unaffordable for some.)

    Barry Lynn prepared testimomny also has:

    “Indeed, the Catholic Bishops are arguing that even owners of a Taco Bell should be able to act upon a “corporate conscience” and deny women coverage of birth control based on a religious objection. Similarly, in a Congressional hearing in November, witnesses from the Christian Medical Association and the Alliance for Catholic Heath Care also argued that the religious exemption should include individual employers. If Congress were to expand the exemption to individuals, the exemption could easily end up swallowing the rule. Employees would have no real protections, as anyone could simply refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives. Employees would not necessarily even know before they accept a job whether or not they would be granted coverage for preventative care services offered to other Americans.”

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  113. Re #109

    I thought we discussed this before, complete with references to the literature and my pointing out the manipulation of terms.

    Are you insisting that I am lying, that I am factually misled, mistaken, or just plain wrong?

    My suggestion before was that you were factually misled.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  114. “I thought we discussed this before, complete with references to the literature and my pointing out the manipulation of terms.”

    MD in Philly – Indeed

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  115. Thanks, daley. Always like to have my sanity affirmed.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  116. Do all women need $1,000 a year for contraception or is it just law students at Georgetown?

    I am surprised she doesn’t spend more time studying?

    Aren’t these appropriate questions for the slut young lady?

    AZ Bob (3b8a4c)

  117. all this talk of anti-depressants is depressing.


    Colonel Haiku (f2b4ef)

  118. MD @ 115,

    That was a very critical bit of insight you offered a few weeks ago re reading pharma/med lit – context is everything and terms without understanding the inside meaning can be very misleading. A red flag of caution and one I took note of.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  119. High Cost of Birth Control Threatens Men’s Lives:

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  120. The O’Henry twist in this whole thing is, that in a few years, Obamacare, if implemented, would stop having insurance companies pay for women’s birth control pills.

    Just like they want the “morning after pill” to be available without a prescription, they should want birth control pills to be available without a prescription, as they are in Mexico, or to Americans who cross the border to buy them.

    The reason they are not available without a prescription is that no drug company wants to file a petition with the FDA to allow that. They can charge more money if they require a prescription because often a third party is paying for it and cost is no object.

    However, once Obamacare is in place, the Medical Advisory Board would really want to see them available without a prescription, not just because many of them would be social liberals who want birth control to be readily available, at a moment’s notice, without embarassment, even to 15 year olds contemplating sex, or to their older boyfriends, but because this would cut down on the number of doctor visits, as many visits are made just to get a prescription renewed.

    Once over the counter, like Prilosec, they would no longer be covered by insurance!! *

    But the drug companies would have to drop their prices up to half so they don’t want it. However, pressure could be brought to bear. The American Journal of Public Health editorialized as far back as 1993 for making birth control pills available over-the-counter.

    Via Virginia Postrel at Bloomberg News

    More recently, in the (online) British Medical Journal:

    BMJ 2008; 337 doi: 10.1136/bmj.a3044 (Published 23 December 2008)
    Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a3044

    This is a debate article. There was a pilot study in London about this.

    Data from the United States suggest that, for at least some women, the prescription requirement represents a barrier to both initiation and continuation of hormonal contraceptives.

    Also see:

    Changing Oral Contraceptives from Prescription to Over-the-Counter Status

    An Opinion Statement of the Women’s Health Practice and Research Network of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy

    Jennifer McIntosh, Pharm.D., M.H.S.; Sally Rafie, Pharm.D.; Mitzi Wasik, Pharm.D.; Sarah McBane, Pharm.D.; Nicole M. Lodise, Pharm.D.; Shareen Y. El-Ibiary, Pharm.D.; Alicia Forinash, Pharm.D.; Marlowe Djuric Kachlic, Pharm.D.; Emily Rowe, Pharm.D.; Kathy Besinque, Pharm.D., M.S.Ed., FASHP

    Authors and Disclosures

    Posted: 04/18/2011; Pharmacotherapy. 2011;31(4):424-437. © 2011 Pharmacotherapy Publications

    Quote from the Abstract:

    Women support OTC access to oral contraceptives, but express an interest in accessing pharmacist counseling. On the basis of these data, the Women’s Health Practice and Research Network of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy supports changing oral contraceptives to OTC status under two conditions: that they are sold where a pharmacist is on duty and that there are mechanisms in place to cover OTC contraceptives through Medicaid. Future research should address the issues of out-of-pocket costs to individuals, label-comprehension studies, and models for pharmacist reimbursement for time spent counseling on contraception.

    The Obamacare Independent Medical Advisory Board – and higher people in the government – would be almost sure to latch on to this (making it available on the authority of a pharmacist) And try to make it happen. Especially considering the cost savings – for the insurance plans.

    * Except that in the meantime Catholic hospitals, or formerly Catholic hospitals, would be paying for insurance policies that included other things their religion opposes.

    Sammy Finkelman (63b67e)

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