What defunding Planned Parenthood would actually mean financially

Josh Hart

Staff Writer

House conservatives have spent the last three months weighing the option of whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood. This is puerile and ignorant and a perfect representation of the religious right’s newly open detestation for women and the disenfranchised.

But you’ve heard that. In a way, it’s parroted by most non-fringe news institutions. What you might not have heard are the nitty-gritty details, the facts of what Planned Parenthood’s disappearance would mean.

Let’s talk finances, as that seems to be the only thing that can get Republicans to pay attention. There is no item in the budget labeled “Planned Parenthood.” Planned Parenthood simply receives money through government healthcare programs.

Money from a government program, Title X, makes up about 12 percent of the organization’s $528.4 million in government grants and reimbursements. A larger share, about 75 percent, comes from patients insured by Medicaid.

This means that defunding Planned Parenthood would primarily enforce the idea that Medicaid should be denied. A recent study by the Congressional Budget Office found that cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood would cost about $130 million.

There is no reason that anyone would think that denying healthcare to people that need it the most, a denial that would cost the state money, is in any way advisable. It’s inconceivable. We’ve reached a point in America’s political history that it would be silly to pretend that America’s major political parties have anyone’s well-being at heart.

How sad.