The House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee advanced the bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and block Medicaid patients from accessing preventive health care — like birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and STD tests and treatment, and well-woman exams — at Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide.
The two Committees moved the dangerous legislation forward despite objections from an array of health care experts, health care providers, members of Congress from both parties, and millions of Americans.
“We’ve made tremendous gains in this country thanks to expanded access to reproductive health care and birth control, and now is not the time to roll that progress back.”
— Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
About the Bill
The bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and block patients from care at Planned Parenthood would also:
Roll back maternity and newborn care, and
Restrict abortion insurance.
Next steps in the legislative process: The bill is now on its way to the House Budget committee. It then goes to the House floor for a vote.
“Planned Parenthood is a 100-year-old health care provider that one in five women in America has relied on. The American people oppose this bill, health care experts oppose this bill, and even Republican members of Congress oppose this bill. It’s time to stop playing politics with women’s health and lives.” —Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
The Impact: Jeopardizing Health Care for Millions
This reckless legislation would jeopardize health care for millions of people and would be devastating for women across the country.
Simply put, if this bill becomes law, it would mean a health care disaster for the United States. This bill would leave an estimated 15 million people without insurance, and would strip millions of Planned Parenthood’s patients from the essential reproductive health care they depend on.
Amendments Protecting Preventive Health Care
Passage of the ACA repeal legislation came after a marathon 27-hour markup in the Energy and Commerce Committee. In the middle of the night, Committee Republican leadership rejected an effort by women’s health champions Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to remove the language attacking Planned Parenthood. Committee members even laughed when Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) falsely tried to claim that this measure is not about Planned Parenthood.
In fact, the language to block people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood is the only provision in the bill that is not related to the ACA. It’s also deeply unpopular with the American public: An independent poll released in January by polling firm PerryUndem, shows that 70% of American voters oppose legislation that would deny patients the ability to go to Planned Parenthood for their health care – including 50% of Trump voters.
4 Facts on “Defunding” Planned Parenthood
Every year, 2.5 million people rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential health services, and studies consistently show that proposals to attack Planned Parenthood will result in people losing access to health care. Here are 5 facts you need to know.
FACT: The term “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. The Hyde amendment, a law Planned Parenthood opposes but follows, prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion. This type of legislation would actually prevent millions of women who rely on Medicaid and/or other federal programs from accessing cancer screenings, birth control, HIV and STI testing, and other preventive and essential care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
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. This disproportionately impacts people who already face structural barriers to accessing care including people of color, immigrants, young people, and members of the LGBTQ community – with those whose identities overlap facing multiple barriers.
FACT: Other providers cannot absorb Planned Parenthood’s patient base if it is cut off from federal programs. Politicians who want to deny patients using Medicaid from going to 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 and Families said it flat out: They can't. Even the executive director of the American Public Health Association has called such claims “ludicrous.”
FACT: 54% of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage areas, rural or medically underserved areas. Planned Parenthood health centers provide preventive health care to many who otherwise would have nowhere to turn for care. In 68% of counties with a Planned Parenthood health center, Planned Parenthood served at least half of all safety-net family planning patients.