On May 4th, the house Republicans passed a new health care plan to replace the Affordable Care At, but the Democrats and various clinics see this as a floodgate for more issues regarding fundamental healthcare amongst lower-income patients. Whether you're of lower income or not, this replacement will affect a lot of us and not just Planned Parenthood patients. Let me break it down for you and paint a clear picture of what’s to come.
The Downfall of Planned Parenthood
The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a Obama Care provides those in need of affordable health insurance access to it. This act includes Medicare- health insurance program for people of lower income/ people under the poverty line. The government provides non-profit clinics like Planned Parenthood with grants through Medicare, so without it, Planned Parenthood is screwed.
Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care services, sex education, and information. The government funds about 40% of their services and those who need access to these services (60% of their patients to be exact) will be left with nowhere to turn. The patients of Planned Parenthood are more than “irresponsible teens” looking for abortions and free condoms at their disposal (although taking control of your sexual health is quite responsible).
There are over 700 Planned Parenthood clinics that care for people in need of STD screenings and medications, cancer screenings, and male infertility screenings. They provide life-saving services for those with less that need more information and access to care. The Democrats also recognize the issues that will arise in getting rid of the Affordable Care Act as well, not just Planned Parenthood patients and workers.
Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts, tells Republicans: “For the so-called moderate Republicans who have contorted themselves this week to find a fix to the damage being done to people with pre-existing conditions, I have breaking news: I have a magic bullet fix if Republicans really want to protect people with pre-existing conditions. Are you ready? Brace yourselves. Don’t change the law! Everyone is already protected by the Affordable Care Act – including people with pre-existing conditions and those who struggle to find affordable care”.
The Lack of Resources
The Trump administration says that with clinics like Planned Parenthood gone, health centers will take in the former patients and services of Planned Parenthood and continue their work. In theory, this sounds like an excellent compromise, but as we know nothing is ever black or white. Health centers can’t simply continue the work for these former clinics because there just aren’t enough resources and doctors to go around.
There are approximately 4,665,000 patients being provided with sexual and reproductive care each year. All of these patients will now have to find health centers to care for them, but these numbers are just too large for clinics to take in everyone. By the time this new healthcare act is in action, health centers will barely have enough time to get the number of resources and increased staff they need to care for everyone. It takes 6-9 months to even find enough doctors to hire for the new influx of patients. Patients will be denied due to high capacity/ lack of resources, leaving a high percentage of women (and men) in need of services helpless.
Majority of these clinics will not have the patients preferred or necessary contraceptives and don’t have the same day services like Planned Parenthood provides. There will be a hefty waiting list for all patients- yes even those of you not under Medicare because a waiting list doesn’t bend for anyone. Millions of patients will be put at risk, doctors will be overworked, and resources will be scarce. Putting this responsibility on health centers alone is just unrealistic with the number of people being left hanging without Medicare insurance and Planned Parenthood services.
Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice
No matter what your stance on abortion is, there are millions of people at risk of losing their fundamental right to access to healthcare. Planned Parenthood isn’t just an abortion clinic, it’s a clinic that provides a plethora of life-saving services and as well as abortions. Through the many arguments we can make in this debate of Pro-life vs Pro-choice, we shouldn’t be willing to let people suffer without health care just because of one provided service you disagree with.
Whether you're for or against abortions, women are still going to find a way to have them; might one remember the 50s, before Roe v. Wade? In a country like America, it’s quite ridiculous to think not all of its citizens don’t have access to something as fundamental as health services. If you’re willing to let the fate of someone's health be jeopardized by your reservations regarding abortions (which is a futile part of the bigger discussion of healthcare taking place) than you need to take a look at yourself and ask: Where is my opinion coming from? Is it coming from a place of humanitarian beliefs? Or is coming from a place of resentment towards those on the opposing side?
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For more info on Planned Parenthood and what you can do to stay informed and use your voice go to http://www.plannedparenthood.com.Also, visit www.usnews.com/topics/subjects/affordable-care-act to stay up-to-date with the Trump administration in regards to the Affordable Care Act.