State of the Union Proposal Fails Women's Health Care and Coverage Needs
Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) President Cecile Richards issued the following statement in response to the President's State of the Union address this evening. As the nation's leading advocate and provider of reproductive health services, PPFA is deeply concerned about the president's support for association health plans (AHPs) as a component of health care reform. AHPs could actually reduce health care coverage for the uninsured and underinsured. AHPs are not required to abide by state coverage mandates for important health care measures like contraception, cervical and breast cancer screening and treatment, infertility services, screening for sexually transmitted infections, and other benefits:
"Tonight's speech is proof-positive that the Bush administration continues to put politics above medicine when it comes to the health of women and families. As the nation's leading advocate and provider of reproductive health services, Planned Parenthood has this message for the Bush administration: Women and families need health care solutions. Seventeen million women need access to affordable family planning services. The U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate among the most developed countries in the world. We need health care plans that give women and couples access to birth control.
"We urge Bush administration officials to re-think this proposal, reconsider AHPs, and revisit their recent actions related to birth control. They can start by protecting Title X, the nation's family planning program. They should immediately remove anti-birth control hardliner Eric Keroack who is in charge of the program, and replace him with a qualified reproductive health expert who believes in birth control.
"With congressional leadership that supports health care access and recognizes its mandate from the American people, this country has an opportunity finally to make strides toward real solutions. We encourage the Bush administration to join us."
January 24, 2007