Oh Noes!!! Someone wanted to put preventive health care into the stimulus bill!!! Idiots must block!
As has been noted in comments, the economic stimulus bill was perhaps not the best place to try to reform social policy about family planning services, funding and availability. But please do let congress and the white house know you support those concepts in general, and you hope to see them passed soon, even if in separate legislation.
I'm stunned. We've just confirmed news reports that provisions to expand access to affordable family planning will be stripped from the economic stimulus bill. Removing this provision is a betrayal of millions of low-income women, and it will place an even greater burden on state budgets that are already strained to the breaking point.
I was frustrated when I saw a parade of legislators and talking heads on television this weekend spreading false information about this commonsense bill. House Minority Leader John Boehner even claimed that the provision would cost millions of dollars -- when the fact is it would save the federal government $700 million over 10 years.
I was even more shocked to read today that congressional leaders have taken these false arguments seriously and will remove family planning provisions from the stimulus bill. It's time for Washington to hear from the millions of Americans who support commonsense policies that invest in health care and help ease the economic downturn.
Let me be clear. The Medicaid Family Planning State Option is a simple way to make health care affordable for millions of Americans. It would do two important things:
1. It would allow millions of women to obtain basic health care. It would extend safety-net health care coverage for millions who are losing their jobs and health insurance in the economic downturn. Studies estimate that 2.3 million low-income women would receive coverage under this provision by 2014, and 500,000 women would be able to avoid unintended pregnancies.
2. In these difficult times, this provision would save states money. State budgets are being squeezed by the economic downturn, just as millions are losing their jobs and health insurance. The Medicaid Family Planning State Option not only would help states extend their coverage, it would generate savings for states and the federal government by expanding access to preventive care.