Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Remember the Republican War Against Women – Here’s Another Battle They Lost

At Least Temporarily

It’s very easy to determine if a political party is for or against improving women’s health and supporting women on health issues.  Never mind what they say, do they actively support policy that helps women and deals with their health issues.

This is really the case involving Planned Parenthood, a large national organization devoted to improving low income women’s access to health care.

Planned Parenthood, . . . provides low-income patients with a range of other services, such as cancer screening, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and prenatal care.

So what’s the problem?  We all know the answer to that, an independent affiliate of Planned Parenthood provides abortion services, services that are perfectly legal and provided without a single dollar of government support.  But that’s enough for hard line Conservatives to want to deny funding to all of Planned Parenthood.  Fortunately a Federal Court has determined this is highly illegal.

A federal appeals court blocked an Indiana law that cut public funding to abortion providers, underscoring a divide in the federal judiciary over whether states can strip Planned Parenthood of subsidies for health services such as cancer screening and prenatal care.

The 2011 law excluded Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from Medicaid, the state-administered health-care program for low-income Americans. The Chicago-based Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that the law deprived Medicaid patients of their right to obtain medical care from providers of their choice.

The rationale for the ruling is pretty simple, straight forward and unambiguous.

Federal law says individuals who are eligible for Medicaid may obtain assistance from "any institution, agency, community pharmacy, or person, qualified to perform the service or services required." The Seventh Circuit, in a 3-0 ruling written by Judge Diane Sykes, an appointee of President George W. Bush, said Planned Parenthood was indisputably a qualified provider.

So the next time Conservatives talk about how they want government out of the health care decisions, decisions like which providers a patient can go to everyone should remember what they mean is that they and government get the right to decide, not the patients.  No, it’s not very conservative, but then conservatives are not very conservative.

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