Hillary Clinton Gets Plan B Kickbacks
Timothy Carney reports that Hillary Clinton is working hard to get a federal subsidy for Plan B, which in turn lines the pockets of Planned Parenthood, which in turn donates heavily to Democratic candidates such as Hillary Clinton.
Clinton’s campaign Web site touts that she has “battled the big drug companies.” Yet she has sponsored many bills that would directly subsidize Barr Laboratories, maker of the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B, which also functions as an abortifacient. Thanks to a deal cut between Barr and Planned Parenthood, those taxpayer subsidies will yield generous profits for the pro-choice group that every four years spends millions trying to elect a Democrat to the White House.
On Sept. 27, Clinton and eight other Democratic senators introduced the “Emergency Contraception Education Act of 2007.” While Clinton’s broad health care plan would “limit direct-to-consumer advertising” of prescription drugs, this particular bill would subsidize such advertising for emergency contraceptives in the name of a public awareness campaign for “postcoital contraception.” In effect, this bill would give Planned Parenthood tax money to conduct an ad campaign for the morning-after pill.
The most common form of emergency contraception is the drug Levonogesterol, marketed under the name Plan B. Barr Labs, which owns the patent on Plan B, has a deal with Planned Parenthood in which Barr sells the drug wholesale to Planned Parenthood for $4.25 a kit, according to media accounts of internal Planned Parenthood documents made public during a court case. A pro-life group’s survey of Planned Parenthood clinics found an average retail price of about $25, yielding an average $20 profit for each Plan B sale.
Clinton has done yeoman’s work to pump up the sales of Plan B. Last year, while holding up a Bush nomination until the Food and Drug Administration allowed Plan B — unlike other contraceptives — to be sold without a prescription, Clinton proposed an amendment to the Budget Resolution earmarking hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize Plan B and other contraceptives. She has reintroduced the Plan B subsidy bill this year.
According to NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, Planned Parenthood’s various affiliates — including a PAC and a 527 — spent $13 million in 2000 in efforts to defeat George W. Bush, including paying for nearly 10 percent of all the pro-Gore ads that aired. In the last two weeks before the election, Planned Parenthood spent more than the Gore campaign. In recent election cycles, the pattern has been the same.
None of Senator Clinton’s Plan B subsidies have been passed into law this year, but if she can pull it off, it’s a nice deal: Taxpayers subsidize advertising for Planned Parenthood, which then spends money to elect Clinton to the White House. Surely that makes up for helping one of those “big drug companies” make a bundle.
To be sure, Members sponsor subsidies all the time and those efforts are often if not usually rewarded with campaign contributions. Still, this is the first I’ve heard of Planned Parenthood’s sweetheart deal on Plan B distribution.