Making health care, including family planning, more accessible and affordable is one of the most important issues facing our country. Planned Parenthood health centers are an integral part of America’s health care system and will continue to play a vital role in serving the millions of Americans who will become newly insured under the Affordable Care Act in the coming years. Through our health centers, patients have access to essential primary and preventive health care services that promote and protect their health and well-being. In fact, many patients rely on Planned Parenthood health centers as their main source of health care.
Two programs that are critical to Planned Parenthood’s ability to serve in this role are the Medicaid program and the Title X family planning program. The Medicaid program is the cornerstone of ensuring that low-income patients have access to the health care they need; in fact, Medicaid recognizes the particular importance of family planning services, and includes several critical policy protections to maximize access to these services under Medicaid.
The Title X family planning program is the nation’s only program that is focused on providing a broad range of family planning services and information to more than five million Americans per year. Taken together, these two programs serve as the foundation of patients’ access to basic family planning care. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act will have an enormous impact on expanding patient access to essential health care services.
Unfortunately, as the cost to provide care and the demand for services has increased, funding for family planning has remained woefully inadequate. At the same time, family planning programs have been subject to political attacks designed to undermine access to these important services.
Learn more about why Medicaid matters for patient health here.