A Damaging and Hypocritical Campaign


Blue Carreker, Vice President for Public Affairs and Media Relations
518.512.9038 or 518.256.0015

Published: 09.30.13| Updated: 09.30.13

I just saw the new anti Obamacare campaign ads financed by the Koch Brothers with the goal of getting young, healthy Americans to reject enrollment in Obamacare. The ad campaign features someone in a grotesque Uncle Sam mask starting to perform a GYN exam on a woman and warns viewers to get government out of their healthcare. As the President/CEO of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, I am floored, frankly, by the obvious hypocrisy of extremists who want to be in every exam room in America but don't want to expand access to quality health care. These are the same extremists who have tried to pass laws allowing politicians to interfere with people's personal medical decisions. These videos are irresponsible and dangerous, designed to spread misinformation and discourage people from getting access to high quality, affordable health care.

What you won't hear from opponents of the new health care law is that if they had their way, thousands of young adults in New York and across the country would be forced off their parents' insurance plans, parents of children born with pre-existing conditions would once again worry about reaching a lifetime cap or getting any coverage at all, and our young adults who are just starting out as wage earners and parents would continue to play roulette with their own health, often going without annual check-ups and preventive screenings, avoiding costlier but more effective birth control, and hoping they will not face a serious illness or accident.

At Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, we know how important the Affordable Care Act is for women and families because we see the need for affordable health care every day. Even in New York—a state that has provided expanded Medicaid coverage specifically for family planning services—women who come into Planned Parenthood health centers often struggle to balance paying for birth control and health services with paying for rent, groceries, or gas for the car. The Affordable Care Act makes those decisions easier for women in New York.

A story sent to us by a young Albany woman when she heard about threats to Planned Parenthood funding is revealing, she told us: " I have been without health insurance for the past 7 years and I would be unable to get any gynecological health screenings without PP. I also needed emergency birth control and was unable to afford the $50 for the pill that my local pharmacy was asking for, but I was able to turn to PP ... My sister is also without insurance and was having very painful, sporadic periods. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian disorder but would not have been able to get the test done/been diagnosed without PP and is now on the pill to help regulate - she also receives her pills because of the service Planned Parenthood offers...To know that in case there is ever an emergency I have a place to turn to is invaluable."

In the next few years, 1.1 million New Yorkers are expected to be insured in the Marketplace. Already, thousands of New York women are benefiting from the women's preventive services provision that went into effect last August, which covers things like birth control and cancer screenings without a co-pay.

This is why Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood is working with local Navigators and allied agencies to educate our patients and the public about the new health care law. As the leading women's health care provider, Upper Hudson Planned is here to help women in the Capital Region understand the law. We want to make sure that folks have the information they need to enroll and to know what to look for in a plan that will meet their needs.

For nearly 80 years, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood has been providing confidential, expert women's health care right here in the Capital District-- and that's not changing. If you don't have health insurance, we'll be here to give you the care you need, and if you have insurance or plan to get it, we are here for you, no matter what.

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Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization serving Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties. Each year, more than 13,000 patients make over 20,000 visits to UHPP health centers in Albany, Hudson and Troy. UHPP provides a wide range of reproductive health services including annual GYN exams including PAP tests, breast exams and self exam instruction, colposcopy, cryosurgery and LEEP, birth control information and supplies, Emergency Contraception, pregnancy testing and options counseling, first trimester abortion (medication and surgical), adoption and prenatal referrals, and more. UHPP provides educational programs to more than 5,000 participants at more than 500 programs each year and advocates for women's health.

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