The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Planned Parenthood needs funding

September 19, 2019

Health care has been a controversial topic in America for decades, but it has become one of the most discussed issues in recent elections. Within the topic of healthcare exists programs like Planned Parenthood. Under Obamacare, Planned Parenthood was able to provide affordable healthcare to millions of people as well as free birth control, cancer screenings, and free maternity care. 

 Recently, the Trump administration forced Planned Parenthood out of the Title X program, which is a program focused on family planning. The main goal of banning programs like Planned Parenthood is to ban abortions, which in itself is a violation of women’s rights. Defunding Planned Parenthood takes away free healthcare from those who can’t afford it anywhere else, and it does not benefit the healthcare system in any way.      

 The federal government does not specifically set aside money for these free healthcare programs, but the money trickles down through Medicaid and Title X. A patient goes to a Planned Parenthood center and receives care at little to no cost. Planned Parenthood then sends a claim to Medicaid, which reimburses Planned Parenthood for the cost of providing the care. The federal government reimburses the state Medicaid agency for part of the cost. Some of Planned Parenthood’s funding also came from Title X, which is no longer possible because of the Trump administration.  

 Federal tax dollars do not pay for any abortions provided by Planned Parenthood. The Hyde Amendment of 1976 blocks Medicaid from funding abortions. In 2014, abortions only represented 3 percent  of the care provided by Planned Parenthood. Medicaid dollars cover services like cancer screenings, HIV testing and birth control. Many of these services are not affordable elsewhere.  

 In a multitude of cases, Planned Parenthood is the only accessible healthcare option for its patients. In over 20 percent of the counties where Planned Parenthood centers operate, there are no other healthcare providers who serve; patients rely on safety net providers.   

 Some politicians claim the other providers can take over Planned Parenthood’s patients, but this is not accurate. Without Planned Parenthood, there are not enough reproductive health care providers to pick up the slack. Each year, Planned Parenthood provides birth control for nearly 2 million people, as well as over 4 million STD tests and treatment and over 300,000 breast exams.        

 Simply put, denying healthcare to millions of Americans will not make this country better. Those who believe in defunding Planned Parenthood believe in taking away the basic rights of American citizens, many of which already experience hardships in everyday life. The fate of public healthcare should not be at the hands of twisted politicians. There are ways to resist these actions. Contacting senators and spreading awareness are fantastic ways to fight for a patient’s rights to health care.  

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