This weekend, House Minority Leader John Boehner wrongly claimed that the Medicaid Family Planning State Option, a common sense provision to expand basic health care to millions of women, would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The option, which became the victim of Boehner's misleading attacks and partisan politics, was dropped from the economic stimulus bill.Thanks, guys. Really appreciate all of your hard work.
"This option rightfully belonged in the economic recovery package," said Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. "The Republican leadership, which demanded its removal, has once again shown just how divisive and out of touch they are with the American public, which overwhelming supports access to family planning services."
The Medicaid Family Planning State Option will ultimately save money in tough economic times. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the state option would save the federal government $700 million over ten years, freeing up money to go toward other pressing state and national priorities during these tough economic times.
In California, independent evaluations of the current family planning expansions have significant estimated cost savings - approximately $1.5 billion annually in state and federal government savings from costs associated with unintended pregnancy. Allowing a waiver also saves state administrative costs in tough budget times.
The Medicaid Family Planning State Option would allow millions of low income women to obtain basic health care including breast and cervical cancer screenings. It extends safety net health care coverage for millions who are losing their jobs and health insurance in the economic downturn.
"During this tough economic time, expanding access to basic health care is critical for women and families," Kneer said. "Medicaid Family Planning State Option is an essential priority for the health of low-income working women. We expect a clear and public commitment from the administration to secure family planning services for low-income individuals and we urge Congress to act quickly to include the family planning option in the next possible moving vehicle sent to the President."
PPPAC is encouraging you to call. As well you should.