Women’s health becomes cog in national politics

The national battle waged on abortion has begun encroaching on other areas of women’s health care with movements by several states to severely limit or completely deny federal funding that largely provides for breast cancer screenings, pap smears and birth control, rather than let a dime go toward abortions.

Cuts to federal funding — particularly Title X which provides money not only to abortion scapegoat Planned Parenthood but also to clinics that offer necessary free health services to women — have been proposed or enacted in Texas, North Carolina, Indiana, Kansas and Wisconsin. Hundreds of thousands of women will be affected by the high costs of undiagnosed illnesses, higher treatment costs once those illnesses are identified and, of course, unintended pregnancies.

According to this well fleshed out New York Times article, Title X money doesn’t fund abortions, only a small fraction of it goes to pay for birth control and approximately a quarter goes to Planned Parenthood. The rest is utilized by hospitals, clinics, community health centers and state agencies for other women’s health services.

The issue has turned partisan recently on the national stage with Republican presidential candidates voicing their promised opposition to Title X funding should they become elected and President Obama lending his support for the program, which helps about 5 million low-income women annually.

Mitt Romney’s fiscal plan proposes eliminating Title X because it “subsidizes family planning programs that benefit abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.”

Rick Santorum, in a recent debate, acknowledged, to boos, that in Congress he voted for appropriations bills that included Title X money. He pledged to rectify that if elected, saying, “I’ve always opposed Title X funding.”

“Eliminating Title X would not outlaw contraception,” said a spokesman for Ron Paul. “People would simply have to pay for contraceptives with their own money or money donated by private sources.”

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2 Responses to Women’s health becomes cog in national politics

  1. The Lone Reader says:

    I’ve found this whole thing interesting. It proves why the Federal government should stay the hell out of health care and pretty much everything else for that matter.

    Health insurance, like any other insurance is a bet. You as the insurance buyer are betting that you will pay less in premiums than you will have medical bills. At the same time the insurance company is setting rates at a point that they are betting you will have less in claims they have to pay than you or your group will have in premiums.

    When you add something like birth control, hair implants, boob jobs or any other medicine or medical care that is optional you are taking part of the guess work out. If the insurance company knows they are going to have to pay for birth control they know pretty close to exactly how many in the group will use it and how much it will cost. Anyone that thinks they aren’t going to just tag that on the premium of the policy (with an additional amount for the cost of administration and profit) knows nothing about how the world works. Unfortunately this group that doesn’t seem to understand how the world works seems to include members of both sides of the aisle in congress and the current and possible future inhabitants of the White House.

    So we are down to the fact should your employer be forced to pay for any optional medical care? The answer to that is no. In fact the federal government has not constitutional power to force your employer to pay for any medical care at all.

  2. Ken Hamilton says:

    I see nothing in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. constitution that authorizes the federal government to be involved in health care.

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