With a Quick Vote Planned for Next Week, Bill Will Gut Funding for Medicaid and Planned Parenthood
Their latest salvo is the Senate version of Trumpcare which would eliminate Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood for one year. The controversial bill, which has been drafted in private, was released today.
The Senate bill would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, phase down its Medicaid expansion, rejigger its subsidies, give states wider latitude in opting out of its regulations as well as eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Here’s a good breakdown of the Senate’s Trumpcare bill and what it does to various parts of Obamacare.
A vote is expected next week.
The way Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is trying to ram the bill through the Senate, using rules meant for budget bills so it would need only 51 votes, could also doom the bill. That’s because the language that would strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood may not meet the tests senators set up to fast-track budget bills.
“Planned Parenthood is singled out for discrimination in Trumpcare for purely ideological reasons,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) “There’s very good reason to believe that this is contrary to requirements for expedited floor consideration in the Senate.”
Supporters of Planned Parenthood protested nationwide Wednesday in more than 50 “Pink the Night Out” rallies.
Middle school social studies teacher Amy Gollub, 36, was at the rally in Springfield, Mo., with her husband, Travis, and their 3-year-old son. Gollub got birth control and checkups from Planned Parenthood when she was in college and didn’t make enough to pay for health insurance.
“They provided for me,” Gollub said.
Certified nurse midwife Carla Lantz talked about her patients who include men, professional women, and postmenopausal women.
“Every time we stall another vote that’s a teenager who gets their pack of birth control pills,” Lantz said.
The United States has one of the highest rates of unplanned pregnancies in the developed world, but after former President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act unplanned pregnancies dropped 18%. The abortion rate dropped too, falling for the first time below the numbers for 1973 when abortion became legal nationwide.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that defunding Planned Parenthood would lead to thousands of unwanted births and leave 15% of rural, low-income women without any access to family planning services.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) plan to introduce an amendment to strip the Planned Parenthood language from the bill.
“I will fight to keep the funding in,” Murkowski said.
Featured photo: Planned Parenthood supporters at a ‘Pink the Night Out’ rally Wednesday in Springfield, Mo. (Photo by Sarah Okeson)