Women and Children Last

31 01 2009

On Thursday President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Act – just a day after The Medicaid Family Planning State Option was stripped from the $819 billion stimulus. Does President Obama think that buys his administration enough political capital to yank Family Planning funding from this economic stimulus package?

Women’s health just lost out. The Medicaid Family Planning State Option, a simple, commonsense measure that would have expanded access to health care to more women in these increasingly desperate times, has been stripped from the economic stimulus bill.

The reason? It was a victim of misleading attacks and partisan politics.

As ThinkProgress points out, “… conservatives are distorting and simplifying the facts…. this measure would not only aid states, but also provide preventative, cost-saving health care to help low-income women support their families and keep working.”

So $819 billion is ok – but $819.2 billion is ridiculous? Actually, come to think of it, that sounds a hell of a lot like spending $50 on a date and then penny pinching by buying a cheap brand X condom.

House Republicans are the iceberg to Obama’s Titanic.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) falsely claimed that the Medicaid Family Planning State Option would cost hundreds of millions of dollars — when the Congressional Budget Office estimates it would save the federal government $700 million over 10 years.”

Immediately following Obama’s meeting with Congress, Boehner said, “How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives? How does that stimulate the economy?”

Wow.

I like jokes, which is why I was able to survive Bush’s administration, but Representative Gingrey (of the 11th district in Georgia) is making the old argument that providing access to contraceptives will encourage people to have more sex, and that having more sex is bad. It’s one of those ideas that makes your brain do a double-take. Having sex twice a week for a year using a 97% effective condom is much safer than having sex once a month without protection. Just is. If you think sex is evil, that’s a different argument, which I will be happy to hear – because I like jokes.

Garbage in, garbage out

Republicans who opposed family planning funding in the stimulus tended to represent states with the highest STD rates.

Not counting AIDS (which gravitates mostly to major cities in Texas, Florida,  Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York), the rates of infection for Gonorrhea, Syphilis and Clamydia are highest in red states:

Gonorrhea: Seven out of the top ten states (Mississippi, S. Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Missouri) are red.

Chlamydia: Six out of the top ten states (Alaska, Mississippi,S. Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee) are red.

Syphilis: Five out of the top ten states (Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Texas and Tennessee) are red.

Commenting on the inclusion of The Medicaid Family Planning State Option for the economic stimulus bill, an investment of $200 million which would save states money in the long run because they would not be burdened by unplanned childbirths by families who cannot afford to take care of children:

“Indeed that may stimulate something,” Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, “but I don’t think it’s going to stimulate the economy.”

Like I said, I like jokes.

And in honor of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a final moment of zen:

Rush Limbaugh said that if Pelosi “wants fewer births, I have the way to do this and it won’t require any contraception: You simply put pictures of Nancy Pelosi…in every cheap motel room. … That will keep birthrates down because that picture will keep a lot of things down.”

Original Planned Parenthood article:
http://linkee.com/e6c

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