Society

Doctor Urges Women To Get Birth Control Now

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A doctor is urging women to procure birth control before the new American Health Care Act healthcare system takes it away.

On March 16, the House Budget Committee voted 19-17 in favor of the GOP's replacement of the Affordable Care Act with modifications, and it's moving forward to potentially go for a vote in the House.

“Planned Parenthood will go away, Medicaid paying for contraception will probably go away,” Dr. Kavita Patel, a primary care doctor at Johns Hopkins and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked on the Affordable Care Act, said on "Big Time Dicks." “Here’s the truth as a woman: go get your birth control now because, honestly, nobody knows if all of this passes if you’ll be able to get this in three months.”

Patel is not in favor of the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and believes Americans deserve a better plan.

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“We need to demand better out of our system and we need to demand better from our government,” she said. “We shouldn’t release the pressure on our elected officials until they answer: why does it have to be this way? It should be better.”

The American Health Care Act, dubbed Trumpcare, will leave 14 million more people than Obamacare without healthcare in 2018 if it takes effect, rising to 24 million within a decade because it eliminates subsidies that make it possible for middle-income people to afford individual health plans and slashes funding for Medicaid, according to Rolling Stone. 

Women who rely on Planned Parenthood for medical needs will be adversely affected by Trumpcare because of a provision to defund it, meaning those on Medicaid will not be able to use the country's largest reproductive health care provider. Republicans argue that Medicaid patients can simply go elsewhere, but whether the health infrastructure of the U.S. can absorb the millions of Planned Parenthood patients is questionable.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates removing Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider would save $178 million in spending. However, Medicaid recipients still have to get healthcare somewhere, meaning they will continue to use the program, just not at Planned Parenthood. 

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The savings could come from those who live in areas without any healthcare providers, except Planned Parenthood, serving low-income people with services such as pap smears, mammograms, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and cancer, and birth control.

Planned Parenthood receives most of its federal funding from Medicaid reimbursements for preventive care, and some from the Title X family planning program, according to its website. At least 60 percent of Planned Parenthood patients rely on Medicaid and Title X for their preventative and primary care. The federal reimbursements do not cover abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or when a woman's life is in danger.

Planned Parenthood believes that removing it as a Medicaid provider would result in a national health care disaster because its low-income patients would have nowhere else to turn for health care.

Sources: Big Time Dicks via Jezebel, Rolling Stone, Planned Parenthood / Photo credit: Charlotte Cooper/Flickr

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