What Effect on Texas Women If Planned Parenthood DefundedSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

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What Effect on Texas Women If Planned Parenthood Defunded

3 July 2011 at 11:39:00 AM

Curious made a comment on a different cartoon post entitled "You're Pro-Life-Why?" about SB 7 which has some amendments which defund Planned Parenthood. I'm not positive it has been signed into law yet, Rick Perry is still busy gallavanting around the country, but going to talk about it as if it has been passed.

Don't forrget Planned Parenthood is primarily a women's health and reproductive services provider, ie, birth control, pap smears etc. PP CANNOT, with federal money, provide abortions, only with private monies or where a state has explicitly allowed for this. It is ILLEGAL for Planned Parenthood to use federal funds to perform abortions, with few exceptions; the Hyde amendment has been attached as a rider to various bills since 1976. Medicaid, a long time ago, used to provide for abortions for low-income women but that has been over for YEARS. From prochoice.org

The Hyde Amendment

After Roe v. Wade decriminalized abortion in 1973, Medicaid covered abortion care without restriction. In 1976, Representative Henry Hyde (R-IL) introduced an amendment that later passed to limit federal funding for abortion care. Effective in 1977, this provision, known as the Hyde Amendment, specifies what abortion services are covered under Medicaid.

Over the past two decades, Congress has debated the limited circumstances under which federal funding for abortion should be allowed. For a brief period of time, coverage included cases of rape, incest, life endangerment, and physical health damage to the woman. However, beginning in 1979, the physical health exception was excluded, and in 1981 rape and incest exceptions were also excluded.

In September 1993, Congress rewrote the provision to include Medicaid funding for abortions in cases where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. The present version of the Hyde Amendment requires coverage of abortion in cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment.

I realize that it may be challenging to ensure that, if there is private or state funding that does go for abortions, it is accurately reported separate from federal funding. That is an excellent matter for regulation and accounting, NOT to defund PP altogether. And the federal government says that states cannot ban monies from clinics that separately provide abortions; in other words, the feds can CUT OFF the federal monies. Boy, that's just what Texas needs, yes? Why don't we just go to the bottom of the barrel in services for our citizens NOW and quit messing around?

So let's talk about family planning. Do you think that there should be health clinics for low-income women who are uinsured to help them get contraceptives? I do. I'm still astonished that until about 40 years ago, birth control was outlawed (Griswold vs State of Connecticut)  for married couples!!!! And then, ONLY in 1973 for unmarried couples!  More recently, it was the Bush (Junior) administration that attempted to equate birth control with abortion.

I believe that families, and that includes a single women, should be able to decide for themselves if and when they want to have children. Especially in our system when there are a lot of women who cannot afford birth control without the help of family clinics, which are at least partially funded federally, being able to go to Planned Parenthood or some other family planning center is critical. A federal judge ruled this last week against Indiana's attempt to defund PP.  Congress cut back some funding for PP in 2011. What did they cut? (From PP Minnesota)

The plan to consolidate comes on the heels of a 5.5 percent cut to Title X funding during the 2011 congressional budget debate. The cut is retroactive to September of last year, and therefore represents an 11 percent cut to Planned Parenthood’s current budget. The Title X program, signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, provides low-income women with such services as birth control, annual gynecological exams, STI testing and treatment and cervical and breast cancer screenings. In Minnesota, more than 250,000 women are in need of subsidized reproductive health care. About 53,000 of them are served at Planned Parenthood’s Title X supported clinics across Minnesota.

The GOP seems to be against women's reproductive health, most particularly those who aren't lucky enough to have good health care.

The GOP's designs on women may be ending, though, as the Federal Government may be stepping in to stop all this nonsense.

Stephanie Goodman of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission confirms that  the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a bulletin advising state officials that federal rules do not permit states to ban certain health care providers “because they separately provide abortion services.”

IF a state breaks the rules regarding federal monies, the feds could quit giving it to them entirely. Texas is ready to risk this for Medicare???

The bulletin notes that while federal money cannot be used to pay for abortion services except in extraordinary circumstances like rape or saving the life of the mother, “at the same time, Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care provicers — whether an individual provider, a physician group, an outpatient clinic, or a hospital–from providing services under the program because they separately provide abortion services.”

Several states, including Texas, have attempted to restrict funding to Planned Parenthood because legislators suspect that government funds are co-mingled with their abortion services. In the recently-ended regular session of the Texas Legislature, lawmakers considered but failed to adopt a “poison pill” provision banning the state from allowing Planned Parenthood to offer family planning and other women’s health services.

Good. I'm generally in favor of limited federal government but not when states are taking federal monies and think they can do whatever they want, regardless of the rules associated with the money.

I honestly do not understand why anyone in Texas would be proud to boast about cutting back these types of services for women. Is it really "It's all about ME!!!!! Screw YOU!"?  I guess so. I shouldn't be surprised in a state that devalues public education. Remember that if Rick Perry quits being coy and enters the race for president.

P.S. Planned Parenthood deserves to be protected by Homeland Security

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1 - humanbeing   3 Jul 2011 @ 9:31:12 PM 

Anything with the word 'planned' will be ditched because this implies intelligence, maturity and foresight and we sure don't want to be accused of that, especially here in good, ole Texas. I can't believe that this weekend we are celebrating (or meditating on) the birth of our country yet discussing what appears to me to be part of some kind of death wish.

Planned Parenthood offers services to males, too, at least those few who are mature enough to take responsibility for their actions (how come all you sperm donors out there aren't feeling the pinch these days?). Maybe all the swaggering, righteous misogynists should reconsider what they're doing.

At a time when the Earth is overwhelmed with too many humans, our resources mostly used up, when the Great United States of America is the ONLY advanced democracy in the world not to offer guaranteed health care for its citizens and when more and more of us are losing our health care benefits from unemployment (who ever decided to link health insurance with employers, anyway?), we keep spending trillions on war and decide that we just can't or won't offer important services to our fellow citizens because that just doesn't jive with our 'value' system.

Instead, we continue to elect legislators for whom every issue is just another political poker chip used to pander for votes because our ideology prevents us from acting intelligently and humanely.

Happy Birthday, america, welcome to the third world.

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2 - pstern   3 Jul 2011 @ 11:10:32 PM 

The GOP wants most everything privatized and that includes women's services for low income populations.  While I don't believe taxpayers should pay for services that are abused by so many people in the system, I believe we need to have alternatives or else taxpayers will be paying even more for additional problems and services that so many people will not be able to pay for themselves.  Medical services and therefore health insurance costs will escalate dramatically if we continue to cut these services and if we demand individuals to dance through more governmental hoops before obtaining the needed services.

Again, this is for most services provided and not only those for women's issues.  We are heading towards a precarious future economically for most people.  Government is only interested in making profits for their wealthy constitutents and they have no qualms doing so by breaking the back of the majority of our citizenry.

It will catch up with the wealthy sometime in the not so near future, but they don't care because we seldom consider long-term effects of the actions we take now.  Politicians are notorious for this because they believe they won't be around when the shit hits the fan, so they rake in the mega contribution bucks now and will let our great grandchildren deal with all the urgent issues we are facing, but are refusing to resolve.

In short, we all suck for doing this and for allowing all this.


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3 - humanbeing   4 Jul 2011 @ 10:44:42 PM 

I agree, pstern, mostly, with what you are saying. Here's the way I see it. Everyone who now pays is also paying for those who don't or can't. It doesn't matter what terminology one puts on it, free market or socialism or something in between, the paying citizenry is already paying the health care bills for themselves and those others.

I believe that all citizens should be required to pay into a Universal health insurance plan like Medicare that would eliminate it being a for-profit business on Wall Street. I want my dollars to go toward my possible health care needs and not to some executive residing over a bloated system who rides on private jets with leather seats, sterling flatware and receives millions in bonuses every year. If this means socializing medicine then let's do it. If the Mayo Clinic can make it work, maybe the rest of the country can, too.

If we really had any decent values in this country, we'd quit allowing our legislators to keep giving the wealthy ones a free ride while the productive ones go down the drain. If the so-called greatest and richest country on earth can't structure a humane system that aligns its resources with its citizens first, then this country will be nothing in a few decades.

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4 - pstern   5 Jul 2011 @ 9:13:20 AM 

Those in charge are NOT looking to be "humane" to the majority population in this nation.  The ancient thinker Plato is credited with having said, "Belua multorum es capitum - The people are a many-headed beast."  That is still how we are viewed by our own government and corporate sector.

Naturally you are correct.  Taxpayers and those who purchase their own health care ARE paying for the health care of those who don't pay for it.  They include poor citizens, legal and illegal immigrants who do not in some way receive and/or pay for health care.  However, my point is that if the GOP gets its way few will be able to pay for their health care, more will opt not to pay for it and then taxpayers and those who do pay for health care will pay even more to pay for the health care of others.

Interestingly, the current 2012 GOP presidential front runner, Mitt Romney, began a health care program as Governor of Massachusetts that is more in line with a socialized health program.  The GOP did not and does not support the program.  Anyone running against Romney in the GOP Primary is sure to point this out during the campaign process.  Last time in 2008 Romney was the GOP leader also until he lost out to McCain.  This is a ghost in Romney's closet that will continue to haunt him and one of the big reasons why he will not win the GOP Primary in 2012.  It is also one of the reasons Perry's people may think they can beat Romney.


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5 - humanbeing   5 Jul 2011 @ 9:55:09 AM 

Yep, pstern. The GOP HAS gotten its way by refusing to participate in genuine health insurance reform. Like you said, with the current for-profit system, premiums will continue to escalate while services will be reduced. Add to that the problem of illegals using a system that can't even support its citizens and we've got a total mess and a bleak future to look forward to.

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6 - Nonyabus   5 Jul 2011 @ 8:16:06 PM 

My question is for "pstern" and "humanbeing". I have been following your comments on the subject and felt obliged to ask a favor of your opinions. I work full-time and pay for my insurance through weekly deductions on my paycheck, not cheap. I have two associates, both female, one 19 years of age, the other about 40. They both have some major health issues but have no coverage. Retail doesnt pay much if your not management. They have both told me that they have been told by physicians that if they were illegals they could receive help. I dont know if thats true or not. Do you believe this to be the case? If so, it saddens me that these dependable, hard working women are treated this way. Our country has indeed failed us in this area.

7 - humanbeing   5 Jul 2011 @ 9:39:56 PM 

Dear Nonyabus,

Anyone who walks into an emergency room must be treated by that facility. Health care providers like hospitals are not responsible for determining whether or not a patient is a citizen. Many people, not just illegals, who are uninsured or underinsured use this route for treatment. Probably the majority of admissions to an ER are for minor routine problems and are not emergencies. It is the most expensive kind of health care and is not a desireable solution, obviously.

Americans pay more for health care than any other nation in the world. People like you who buy their health insurance through their employer are having a difficult time keeping up with constantly increasing premiums and those without employer-based health insurance must buy privately, which is about three or four times more expensive. If you've ever been self-employed, you know what I'm talking about. One reason it is so expensive is because it is for-profit and the few corporate insurance companies that control the system are exempt from laws regulating monopolies. Also, it is very inefficient. About 30 cents of every premium dollar goes for administrative costs. Other systems around the world and here in our government programs spend 10 cents or less on administration.

Employers who provide health insurance to their employees by paying a significant portion of these premiums are hurting and are not able to compete with companies from other countries who don't provide this for their employees. We are at a competitive disadvantage because of this. I also believe that this is a major reason so many American corporations have sent so many of our jobs overseas. They save huge amounts of money by not having to provide health insurance for their workers.

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8 - pstern   6 Jul 2011 @ 8:49:05 AM 

I agree with HB's response and I will add a little to it.

My primary health care is Medicare as it is with millions of Americans.  However, Medicare pays only 80 percent of its accepted services.  That means that an individual is responsible for the remaining 20 percent of doctor, hospital and lab bills that Medicare does not pay for.  It can become an astronomical amount and for most people may be unaffordable.

Consequently, I pay for a supplemental health care plan that is costly but covers the remaining 20 percent that Medicare does not pay.  While I am completely covered now via both plans, there still may be a cost to me if some services are provided that Medicare does not cover.  Usually, this may occur when in a hospital when the doctor prescribes a medication that the plan does not cover.  As previously stated, if Medicare does not cover a service then the supplemental plan will not either.

That said, prescription medications are a whole other issue.  Various prescription drug plans cover different medications and the entire process is horrendous and difficult for many people to comprehend and to afford the necessary

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9 - pstern   6 Jul 2011 @ 8:55:59 AM 

Sorry, the above was not completed.


That said, prescription medications are a whole other issue. Various prescription drug plans cover different medications and the entire process is horrendous and difficult for many people to comprehend and to afford the necessary coverage.

I think the best thing for the majority of Americans is for the government to provide Medicare coverage for everyone and I have written many articles on the topic.  Everyone who works pays into Medicare and it would be a consideration to charge everyone a small fee to go on Medicare as well.  While it only covers 80 percent of total health care costs, it would be a majority type of coverage for most or all Americans, who could then purchase their own supplement to Medicare so they would be covered completely.

That's just my "two-cents" on the topic of health care coverage.

As for people who abuse the health care system, citizens who cannot pay or who don't want to pay for doctor and hospital services, which may include legal or illegal immigrants, we need to develope another way of dealing with them so that they assume some responsibility for their health care needs.


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10 - enadaze   6 Jul 2011 @ 2:12:13 PM 

@ Humanbeing - I believe that you are incorrect in your statement that "anyone who walks into an emergency room must be treated by that facility".  The only time that is 100% true is when the hospital is a public hospital such as JPS.  Otherwise, a private hospital may refuse to provide service to anyone as long as they do not have an issue that is life threatening.  If that is the case, they are required to insure that the person is stable and then will most likely transfer them to a public hospital such as JPS. 

@ pstern - there is currently a program through Medicaid that covers womans services for low income women between the ages of 19 and 45 (i believe) in the State of Texas that covers exams, birth control and things of that nature.

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11 - humanbeing   6 Jul 2011 @ 3:39:31 PM 

While ERs may refuse service, most do not. One of the problems is how to determine whether or not a patient has a serious problem without examination and testing. If that ER turns someone away who later crashes with something like a heart attack, it could be sued. I have worked at numerous facilities that admitted pretty much everyone who came in the door. It's very common for people to use the ER for non-emergency ailments like urinary tract infections, colds and gynecological services.

Although Medicaid does cover womens' services for low income, there is no coverage for those who do not qualify for Medicaid and yet are still uninsured. Lots of people fall into this category.

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12 - pstern   6 Jul 2011 @ 6:10:53 PM 

Medicaid is too iffy for many people, as HB stated.  Also, Medicaid is a totally "socially provided taxpayer program" that those who get it did NOT pay anything into it (for the most part).  It also is a widely abused program that requires revamping, but our legislators in D.C. don't seem to want to touch it.

Medicare is the program that could cover all Americans for 80 percent of their total health care needs.  If they want it and/or can afford it, they can purchase a supplemental health care program that would cover the 20 percent that Medicare does not cover.  As I stated before, most working Americans have been paying into the Medicare program, so it is not a free gift -- so to speak.

However, the health care industry does NOT want people to be under Medicare.  They make more money under private health care insurance.


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13 - humanbeing   6 Jul 2011 @ 6:49:24 PM 

You're absolutely correct, pstern. Our government does what the health insurance mega-corporations tell them to do. I think a Medicare-for-all system will be our only solution.

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14 - pstern   6 Jul 2011 @ 7:12:15 PM 

A Medicare system makes the most sense.  It is a system in place already that is mostly successful.  It has some flaws, with some corruption and abuse; however, it is still the best proven health care system we have.

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15 - nonyabus   6 Jul 2011 @ 7:34:29 PM 

Thanks to you all who have taken the time to help me have a better understanding. This forum is a great place to learn the facts!

16 - pstern   6 Jul 2011 @ 7:51:54 PM 

You're welcome.  Thanks for taking the time to participate and ask questions.

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17 - humanbeing   6 Jul 2011 @ 9:18:16 PM 

About 60% of Americans are already covered by a universal (Medicare, Military or Government employee) system. America is the only advanced democratic country in the world that does not provide every citizen with health care. The World Health Organization ranks the quality and service of health care in America as #37.

Why do Americans continue to hold to a system that is screwing them?

Please check out this interview by Bill Moyers (born in Texas) and Wendell Potter, a former high-ranking administrator with Cigna: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch2.html

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18 - pstern   6 Jul 2011 @ 11:31:14 PM 

And what percentage of legal and illegal limmigrants are without a health care plan in the U.S.?  And how much do American taxpayers and Americans who have health care plans pay to compensate for all the medical bills that are NOT paid by those without insurance.  We're talking BILLIONS OF DOLLARS here!


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19 - humanbeing   14 Jul 2011 @ 9:56:43 PM 

And many more billions of dollars are going down the drain from the mammoth wastefulness in our current system. Absolutely everything is disposable and finding an institution that recycles is rare. Very expensive lab testing is routinely performed on most ER patients, often before the physician has even seen them. They complain that they have to protect themselves from lawsuits, which is probably true. Then we have this younger generation of physicians who don't know how to do a physical and won't even touch the patient.

Also, the larger, corporate facilities are deaf to their employees who offer years of experience and knowledge while the ones in Administration deciding the protocols often know nothing about the specialties they are 'managing'.

There are a lot of companies in this country who profit hugely from the industry called Health Care.

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20 - txbrtsr   24 Jul 2011 @ 2:07:39 AM 

On the topic of defunding Planned Parenthood - the best way to prevent  abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place.  Cutting off access to birth control will lead to more unwanted pregnancies, which in turn could lead to more abortions.   Conservatives who seek to defund PP in order to prevent abortions are cutting off their own noses.  The Conservative retort to this would of course be that  "abstinence education" is the solution to preventing unwanted pregnancies, not contraceptives; however, the idea that the entire population of women of reproductive age will practice abstinence until such time as they're ready to have children is laughable, and with Texas nearly leading the nation in the rate of teen pregnancies, it's obvious abstinence education is not working. 

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