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Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America denounces the just released version of the Senate health care repeal bill, the so-called skinny repeal bill. In addition to blocking individuals on Medicaid from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood, the latest version of Trumpcare would increase premiums by 20% and take away coverage from 16 million people. Trumpcare is the worst bill for women in a generation, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America demands every Senator vote no on this bill.

The skinny repeal bill claims to transfer funds from Planned Parenthood health centers to community health centers. This is inaccurate, and a gross misrepresentation of how funding works. Planned Parenthood’s funding cannot be “transferred” to Community Health Centers (CHCs).

Planned Parenthood is not a line item in the budget, nor does it get a blank check from the government. Instead, Planned Parenthood health centers operate just like other Medicaid providers –– they are reimbursed when a patient comes in for cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment and annual exams. Under federal law, Medicaid cannot reimburse providers for abortion, except in extremely limited circumstances.

The “defunding” provision in the bill would simply prohibit Planned Parenthood health centers from serving patients enrolled in the Medicaid program or getting reimbursed for those services provided to Medicaid patients. There is no way to simply “transfer” Medicaid reimbursements ---- instead patients would be forced to go without care.  

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

The is the height of hypocrisy. After weeks of posturing, it turns out that Senate Republican leadership’s so-called ‘skinny repeal’ is really just a plan to block millions of patients from accessing cancer screenings and birth control at Planned Parenthood. Instead of trying to make health care better, all Mitch McConnell is offering the American people is another unpopular and dangerous plan to devastate women’s health and women’s rights. The simple fact is that blocking millions from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood would result in more undetected cancers and more unintended pregnancies.

“Any senator who votes for the ‘skinny repeal’ is voting to take away care from millions, including those who come to Planned Parenthood, and raise premiums by 20 percent.

“The cruel irony is that Republicans are selling the ‘skinny repeal’ as giving individuals more choice and freedom, while the Planned Parenthood provision would deny women the choice or freedom to go to the provider they trust.

“Politicians have been on a crusade against Planned Parenthood and women’s health and rights for years. At every twist and turn of this process, Republican leaders have chipped away at women’s health and rights. They will stop at nothing to block millions of people from going to Planned Parenthood for preventive care, including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment.

“The Planned Parenthood provision is the epitome of a mean-spirited policy that hurts millions of women and has no place in legislation, period.”

“The American people have made it clear time and time again they will not stand for politicians taking away their health care and preventing millions with Medicaid coverage from coming to Planned Parenthood health centers for basic, preventive care. That’s why, since day one of this fight, people across the country have been tirelessly organizing, making calls to Congress, attending town halls, and hosting rallies to protect women’s access to health care.

“The Senate must reject the ‘skinny repeal,’ or they will be responsible for putting millions of people's lives at risk.

 

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FACT: It is inaccurate to claim that Planned Parenthood’s funding could be “transferred” to Community Health Centers (CHCs). This is inaccurate, and a gross misrepresentation of how funding works. Planned Parenthood is not a line item in the budget, nor does it get a blank check from the government. Instead, Planned Parenthood health centers operate just like other Medicaid providers –– they are reimbursed when a patient comes in for cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment and annual exams. The “defunding” provision in the bill would simply prohibit Planned Parenthood health centers from serving patients enrolled in the Medicaid program or getting reimbursed for those services provided to Medicaid patients. There is no way to simply “transfer” Medicaid reimbursements ---- instead patients would be forced to go without care.  

FACT: There is no federal funding for abortion. A career HHS OIG official explains there is no federal funding of abortion in The Hill. Planned Parenthood receives Medicaid reimbursements, just like hospitals and other health care organizations, for providing preventive care.

FACT: A powerful editorial in the Washington Post underscores the devastating impact of blocking access to care at Planned Parenthood: “Of all the magical thinking that has gone into Republican proposals to replace Obamacare, none has been more fanciful than the argument accompanying efforts to defund Planned Parenthood… In truth, millions of women would lose access to critical health care.”

FACT: Planned Parenthood grassroots organizing has been a driving force in opposing Trumpcare and efforts to “defund” Planned Parenthood. For months, an army of pink-clad Planned Parenthood patients, supporters, and advocates have taken thousands of actions from coast to coast including attending protest rallies, speaking out at congressional town halls, calling their members of Congress, delivering petitions to congressional offices, and hosting field hearings.

Over the last several months, Planned Parenthood supporters have:

  • Made more than 190,000 phone calls to members of Congress

  • Organized more than 2,200 events across the country, including rallies, petition drops, phone banks, and marches

  • Delivered over 1 million petition signatures to members of Congress in opposition to  “defunding” Planned Parenthood.

FACT: A bipartisan majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood and oppose “defunding.”

  • A Quinnipiac poll shows that 80 percent of voters, including 67 percent of Republicans, oppose efforts to block people from getting care at Planned Parenthood.

  • The Senate health care repeal bill is the most unpopular bill in three decades and the provision blocking women from Planned Parenthood is one of the most unpopular parts – with 80 percent of voters, including 67 percent of Republicans, opposing.  

  • A NBC News/WSJ poll shows that only 12 percent of voters in “Trump” counties support the House version of Trumpcare. Forty-one percent said it was a “bad idea.” (NBC News/WSJ polled 439 counties where Trump either significantly outperformed Mitt Romney’s vote in 2012 or flipped the vote from President Barack Obama. In these counties, Trump’s job approval rating stands at 50 percent — about 10 points higher than in most national polls).

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.