On CNN’s Town Hall with HHS Secretary Price last night, Dana Bash pressed Price on his claim that CHCs can absorb Planned Parenthood patients if Congress “defunds” Planned Parenthood. Bash clarified that there are over 100 counties across the country where Planned Parenthood is the only clinic offering a full range of contraceptive methods to women.
She then asked Price, how are women in those 100+ counties going to get care?
Tom Price didn’t have a response, other than to say “I'd be interested in the list you have.”
Here’s the list that Secretary Price is looking for:
FACT: In 21 percent of counties with a Planned Parenthood health center, Planned Parenthood was the only safety-net family planning provider; and in 68 percent of counties with a Planned Parenthood health center, Planned Parenthood served at least half of all safety-net family planning patients.
FACT: Expert after expert has resoundingly dismissed the idea that other providers could absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients.
In fact, Dr. Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, called the idea “ludicrous.”
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National Partnership for Women and Families have said flat out they cannot.
FACT: Legislation denying access to care at Planned Parenthood was a health disaster in Texas. Two Texas public health investigators wrote in the Washington Post that when Texas passed legislation it was devastating – and shouldn't be repeated in the rest of the country. A significant number of women also lost or had reduced access to primary care providers as a consequence of limiting patient options. In Wisconsin, health care providers in the state confirmed that they didn’t absorb Planned Parenthood patients when health centers were forced to close.
FACT: 54% of Planned Parenthood health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas. Planned Parenthood health centers provide preventive health care to many who otherwise would have nowhere to turn for care.
FACT: When lawmakers in Louisiana, Ohio, and Florida tried to block access to Planned Parenthood in the past, they suggested women could go to “alternative” providers for reproductive health care, including dentists, food banks, nursing homes, ENTs, elementary schools, rehabs, and retirement homes.
FACT: Federal funding is not fungible. Federal funds are prohibited from covering abortion as a result of the prohibitive Hyde amendment (which Planned Parenthood opposes) except in the dire circumstances of rape, incest, or when the life of the woman is in jeopardy. According to Guttmacher, Planned Parenthood represents about 22% of all providers that offer abortion as a part of broader reproductive health care. There are hundreds of other hospitals, physician offices, and other clinics that provide abortions, in addition to receiving Medicaid reimbursements for preventive care. As the CBO score released on Monday said, only Planned Parenthood would be affected by the “defunding” provision.