The American Health Care Act, which is the House Republican bill to replace Obamacare, includes a provision that would defund Planned Parenthood. The organization serves around 70,000 residents in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The provision would likely block low-income women from getting breast exams, cancer screenings, and birth control, as well as screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, according to Judy Tabar, President of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.
"Blocking access to services provided by Planned Parenthood would undermine the enormous progress we have made in women’s healthcare," Tabar said. "We are at a historic low in teen pregnancy and a 30 year low in unintended pregnancy thanks to increased access to family planning and information."Tabar said. "We are at a historic low in teen pregnancy and a 30 year low in unintended pregnancy thanks to increased access to family planning and information."
Tabar said that while they’ve dealt with plans to defund the agency in the past, this will be the biggest fight they’ve ever had.
Speaking at a Planned Parenthood event in New Haven, Tabar said they currently serve 60,000 patients in Connecticut alone. Nearly half are Medicaid recipients.
The proposed plan would also eliminate Medicaid expansion. More people became eligible for health insurance through Medicaid under Obamacare.
New Haven Legal Assistance Attorney Sheldon Taubman said those who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act insist the Medicaid program is expensive and unsustainable.
"Well, I’m here to say that our Medicaid program -- including the expansion, but also the rest of the program -- now covers 770,000 of our residents, which is about one in five," said Taubman. "And it’s doing a great job in doing this very efficiently."
An analysis released Monday by the state’s Office of Policy and Management outlined a $6.8 million loss in federal funding to the agency in the upcoming fiscal year.
This report comes from the New England News Collaborative. Eight public media companies coming together to tell the story of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.