Leaked Draft of House ACA Repeal Bill Also Includes Planned Parenthood Defund Provision
Comes Just Ahead of Planned Parenthood Events in Kenosha and Milwaukee
WASHINGTON, DC – A leaked draft of House Republicans’ bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act also includes a provision to defund Planned Parenthood (page 26-28). This proposal comes just as Planned Parenthood patients, providers and supports gather for events in Kenosha and Milwaukee on Saturday.
If enacted, ending Medicaid funding for patients seeking care at Planned Parenthood would have a devastating impact on health care in Wisconsin and America. Without continued Medicaid coverage at Planned Parenthood, Congress would block preventive health care, including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD and HIV testing coverage of 50,000 patients in Wisconsin and 2.5 million nationwide. Blocking care at Planned Parenthood will have a devastating impact on those who already face far too many barriers to health care and leave most patients with no alternative health care provider.
An initial review of the draft ACA repeal bill also shows that the language to end Medicaid funding for patients at Planned Parenthood is the only provision that is not directly related to the ACA.
In January, the Washington Post reported that Congressman John Faso (R-NY) warned House Republicans in a closed door meeting about the political fallout for defunding Planned Parenthood. In a February CQ article, Congressman Faso said, “moving forward with plans to defund Planned Parenthood is ‘ill advised’ — even though he considers himself ‘strongly anti-choice.’”
CQ also reported Congressman Faso saying, “he has spoken with colleagues about the issue and believes 20 to 30 House members have similar stances.”
A majority of Americans oppose defunding Planned Parenthood. An independent poll released in January by Perry Undem, a nonpartisan polling firm, shows that seventy-one percent of American voters oppose defunding Planned Parenthood – including fifty percent of Trump voters.
Nicole Safar, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s Director of Government Relations, said, “An estimated one in five women in America will rely on Planned Parenthood for care at some point in her life. Access to basic women’s health care shouldn’t get caught up in congressional Republicans’ extreme agenda.”
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 budget. Instead, this type of legislation would prevent millions of women who rely on Medicaid or other federal programs from accessing the health care provider they’ve been able to rely on for decades. Federal law already blocks federal funds from going to abortion services. Defunding Planned Parenthood instead blocks people from accessing cancer screenings, birth control, HIV and STI testing, and other preventive and essential care.
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. Communities of color, immigrant communities, rural areas, young people, and the LGBTQ community, who already face structural barriers to accessing health care, are disproportionately impacted.
FACT: Planned Parenthood is Wisconsin’s largest safety net health care provider. At least 86% of patients at Planned Parenthood qualify for Medicaid coverage.
FACT: Blocking care at Planned Parenthood will have a devastating impact on those who already face far too many barriers to health care.
- Three-fourths of Planned Parenthood health centers are in rural or underserved areas, and 46% of PPWI’s patients are people of color, who already face disproportionate barriers in accessing health
- Without Planned Parenthood, most of the state’s most vulnerable patients will have no other health care provider to turn to, putting them at risk for undiagnosed cancers, STDs, HIV, unintended pregnancy and other poor health outcomes.
FACT: Fifty percent of the counties PPWI serves will have no alternative provider to turn to if PPWI closes. Other providers cannot just absorb Planned Parenthood’s patient base if it is cut off from federal programs. Politicians who want to defund 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 & Families said 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 primary and preventive health care to many who otherwise would have nowhere to turn for care.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is a nonprofit health care provider caring for 60,000 patients annually at 21 health centers. 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s care is preventive health services including well woman exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, HIV screening, and STD treatment.
Recent Press Releases by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin
PPWI is improving and developing a previously vacant manufacturing site in Milwaukee’s Harbor District.
In the letter, PPWI President and CEO Tanya Atkinson underscores the important health care Planned Parenthood provides.