Today the House of Representatives voted to gut Planned Parenthood of it’s federal funding under the guise of state’s rights. The bill, H.R. 3495, or the “Women’s Public Health and Safety Act” states (in its summary):
“This bill amends title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act to modify requirements regarding a state plan for medical assistance. Under current law, a state plan for medical assistance must provide that any individual eligible for medical assistance may obtain required services from any institution, agency, or person qualified to perform them. The bill specifies that a state may not be required to provide medical assistance for services furnished by any individual or entity based on the individual’s or entity’s involvement in abortions.”
In simpler terms: this legislation gives states the choice to exclude abortion providers from their Medicaid programs, even though the definition of “providers” is written as broadly as possible.
So while the bill is aimed at curbing the Medicaid funds used to subsidize abortions in Planned Parenthood, any medical entity that comes within an inch of abortion could lose funding – even ones that do not explicitly provide the service. Republicans argued that the bill will give states the ability to rein in funding they would have used for organizations like Planned Parenthood and will instead divert it to organizations that do not offer abortion services.
Surprisingly, not all Republican voted in favor of the measure, which passed the House on a mostly party-line 236-193 vote.
Nine Republicans in total voted against the measure, and two Democrats voted in favor of it.
Those nine Republicans are:
- Carlos Curbelo (Florida)
- Charles Dent (Pennsylvania)
- Bob Dold (Illinois)
- Daniel Donovan (New York)
- Christopher Gibson (New York)
- Richard Hanna (New York)
- David Jolly (Florida)
- John Katko (New York)
- Elise Stefanik (New York)
Notice only one female GOP member voted against the measure. Something almost every one of these Republicans have in common? They are all vulnerable and represent districts that could possibly turn blue in 2016. These Republicans were smart to not partake in the war on women.
As Republicans continue to waste precious legislative time, these nine GOPers have washed their hands of any wrongdoing – for now.
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