Yesterday, House Republicans released a bill to repeal key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that includes a provision to specifically block people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers, including birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment.
If enacted, prohibiting patients from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers would have a devastating impact on people and communities across Long Island and America. It is important to note that federal funding does not go towards abortion. Every year, 2.5 million people rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential health services, and studies consistently show that proposals to “defund” Planned Parenthood will result in people losing access to health care. As experts have repeatedly said, other providers cannot absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients.
Vincent Russell, Interim President/CEO, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, said, “People don’t go to Planned Parenthood to make a political statement, they go there for affordable, high-quality health care. In Suffolk County alone, 24,000 women, men, and young adults are provided essential health care services. Without Planned Parenthood, they would be left with nowhere else to go.”
An initial review of the ACA repeal bill shows that the language to block people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood is the only provision that is not related to the ACA. And it is deeply unpopular with the American public.
An independent poll released in January by polling firm PerryUndem, shows that 70 percent of American voters oppose legislation that would deny patients the ability to go to Planned Parenthood for their health care – including 50 percent of Trump voters.
In fact, a number of House Republicans have expressed concerns about the “defund Planned Parenthood” provision in the ACA repeal bill. In January, the Washington Post reported that Congressman John Faso (R-NY) warned House Republicans in a closed-door meeting about the political fallout from blocking patients from care at Planned Parenthood. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that the White House is also concerned about “political repercussions” about “defunding” Planned Parenthood.
This bill would also restructure and slash federal funding for the Medicaid program, which low-income women and people of color disproportionately rely on to access essential care, including family planning services, pregnancy-related care, and other preventive and primary care.
The Facts on "Defunding" Planned Parenthood
FACT: The term “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. There is no blank check that Planned Parenthood gets from the federal government, and it’s not a line item in the federal budget. Instead, this type of legislation would prevent millions of women who rely on Medicaid and/or other federal programs from accessing the health care provider that’s been there for them for decades. Federal law already blocks federal funding from going to abortion services. This legislation instead blocks people from accessing cancer screenings, birth control, HIV and STI testing, and other preventive and essential care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
FACT: Blocking access to Planned Parenthood hurts people in communities who are struggling to get by the most – especially those with low incomes and those living in areas with no other quality health care providers. This disproportionately impacts people who already face structural barriers to accessing care including people of color, immigrants, young people, and members of the LGBTQ community -- with those whose identities overlap facing multiple barriers.
FACT: Other providers cannot just absorb Planned Parenthood’s patient base if it is cut off from federal programs. Politicians who want to deny patients using Medicaid from going to Planned Parenthood often insist that other providers will fill the gap, but the experts at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National Partnership for Women and Families said it flat out: They can't. Even the executive director of the American Public Health Association has called such claims “ludicrous.”
FACT: Fifty-four percent of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage areas, rural or medically underserved areas. Planned Parenthood health centers provide preventive health care to many who otherwise would have nowhere to turn for care.
March 07, 2017
April 18, 2017