House Speaker Paul Ryan apparently intends to make it appear Republicans are going after Obamacare by first trying a blitzkrieg strike on federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood enjoys broad support as a reliable and trusted provider of comprehensive medical services for women. That those services — not government funded — include constitutionally protected abortion procedures, primarily early pregnancy pills, is against the Republican religion. And I guess I do mean religion. There will be minority opposition.
The vast majority of federal money that Planned Parenthood does receive funds preventive health care, birth control, pregnancy tests, breast cancer screening and other women’s health care services. Democrats also point out that much of the money the group received is through the Medicaid program, which reimburses health care clinics that provide care to those covered by the federal program.
Planned Parenthood, important to many women though it is, is an insignificant part of fedral health care expenditures under the Affordable Care Act. Already acknowledging the difficulty and unpopularity of upending that entire program, it appears Republicans want to make it appear they are doing something by attacking and demonizing Planned Parenthood. They’ll hear from some unhappy people before it’s over. Without PP, many areas won’t be able to provide ready access to routine services for women. (Some men also receive Planned Parenthood services.)