FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Failure to Expand Medicaid Family Planning Services In Stimulus Package a Missed Opportunity
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, DC — January 28, 2009 — “It is truly disappointing that a provision that would have allowed states to expand eligibility for Medicaid family planning services for low-income families was not included in the House economic stimulus package. The Medicaid Family Planning State Option provision would have made contraceptive services available to more low-income families, generating much-needed savings for states and the federal government. This provision belonged in the economic stimulus package.
The lies and distortions that opponents used to kill the provision demonstrate their utter failure to recognize — and unwillingness to address — real problems facing working families in this grim economy. They must not prevail.
Ninety-eight percent of women of reproductive age use contraception. Nine in ten Americans support public funding for family planning services for low-income women with good reason. Whether trying to plan a family or avoid pregnancy, contraceptive services are a necessary component of basic health care for women and families.
The failure to include this cost-effective and common sense provision in the economic stimulus package is a missed opportunity to address a compelling need, and a deeply disappointing political attack on contraception.
The National Partnership for Women & Families fully expects the Obama Administration to support the Medicaid Family Planning State Option. We call on Congress to act quickly to implement this provision.”
The National Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, fairness in the workplace, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.