Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Democrats Cave Again

House Democrats again proving that they will back down at the slightest whine by Republicans have removed a provision from their stimulus bill that would exempt states from the need to get waivers for covering family planning under Medicaid. The family-planning aid has been the subject of repeated Republican attacks over the past few days, and health care advocates were dismayed by the Democrats' decision to give in on its removal.

The Medicaid Family Planning State Option was a common-sense provision which would have expanded basic health care for millions of women, many of whom have lost their jobs in the current economic crisis, was a victim of misleading attacks and partisan politics by cry-baby Republicans.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs addressed the removal of the Medicaid provision, which occurred at Obama's request, during today's press briefing:
The president called Chairman Henry Waxman yesterday and said that, while he believed the policy of increased funding for family planning was the right one, that he didn't believe this bill was the vehicle to make that happen.

The one bright spot is that the House's move doesn't necessarily mean that the family-planning aid is dead. There have been suggestions out of the White House that it could be added to a comprehensive Healthcare bill. Senator Debbie Stabenow has also stated publicly that she would focus on how to attach the family-planning aid to another Senate bill coming down the pike.

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