As the supercommittee continues to meet in order to decide what programs can and can’t be cut in an attempt to reign in the federal debt, one all too tempting target for Republicans is Medicaid, Medicare and the social safety net in general. But Democrats are fighting back, noting that these cuts don’t just hurt the old, the poor and the sick but predominately hurt women and their children most of all.
California Democrat Rep. Mike Honda makes it clear that when Republicans cut services, especially services that provide reproductive health and preventative care such as birth control and STI testing, they are doing it at the expense of vulnerable women. “Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will be debilitating to women and families who rely on these programs to afford preventive and reproductive health services. This is no time to gouge a gaping hole in social safety nets that protect these communities from falling into poverty and poor health….If Republicans were listening to their leaders, they would be proposing an expansion of this critical program, not attacking it. Title X funds provide an array of confidential preventive health services. In 2009 alone, Americans received 2.2 million Pap tests, more than 2.3 million breast exams and 6.9 million sexually transmitted disease tests. Title X saves taxpayers at least $3.4 billion in health care costs annually, according to Guttmacher Institute estimates.”
But do Republicans really want to save money in the federal budget, or simply continue on their witch hunt to attack women’s health care providers, especially Planned Parenthood? As the new congressional inquiry into the group, which has already been repeatedly audited by the federal government, shows, there’s no issue with wasting taxpayer money if it could harm the nations largest provider of low income women’s health.
Even if it’s at the expense of those women.
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