Considering there is a new fiscal crisis created every few weeks in Congress, it was only a matter of waiting to find out what the next great shutdown flashpoint would be.
It should be surprising to no one that it’s about, among other things, defunding Planned Parenthood.
House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg, a Republican from Montana, has offered up a draft bill that, if passed, would not only gut programs that offer a leg up for the poor and middle class, such as Pell Grant programs and heating assistance, but it would also put the entirety of funding for health care reform on hold until the Supreme Court rules on the law, and cut off some forms of aid to the disabled.
But the biggest piece? It would deny any form of federal funding to Planned Parenthood until it stops performing abortions altogether.
Committee members are already up at arms over all of the proposals in the bills. Congresswoman Rosa Delauro of Connecticut stated, “Remarkably, these particular health care providers—and the patients they serve—would be denied federal funding for any purpose unless they agree to stop providing a lawful medical service using funds from patients and other non-federal sources. The main effect would probably be to prohibit Medicaid patients from choosing to receive services such as contraception and cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood clinics.”
Once more, reproductive health funding for the poor is just being used as a poker chip in trying to get whatever other cuts the Republican party wants. But it’s a ploy that, used over and over again, might eventually work, especially now that the GOP has shown itself more than willing to throw the entire country into chaos to have their own way. And with the taxpayer funded congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood already being proposed this week, it’s becoming more obvious that the health care provider is a target they very much want to take out in the end.
Photo credit: wikimedia commons
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