King – how low can you go?
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King – how low can you go?

Story By: STAFF WRITER
5/11/2017


Believe it or not, America hit an all time low last week when the first hurdle in the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) narrowly passed in the House of Representatives by a majority Republican vote of 217, which included a vote by this area’s own Representative Peter King. Should the bill pass the U.S. Senate when it’s presented in the coming weeks, it will be on its way to ending health care for far too many of our most vulnerable citizens. Hopefully, the Senate will stop it in its tracks.

Of all of the changes made to the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA), perhaps the most difficult for many to understand is the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which according the new bill, would only be for one year. But in doing that, the law would deny care for the 2.5 million people that use that organization’s services annually. And since more than half of Planned Parenthood’s clinics are located in rural or underserved areas, the majority of those affected would undoubtedly have no other means of finding replacement affordable care.  Some of the crafters of this new bill, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, suggested that other publicly funded medical clinics could absorb the patients that would be displaced. But let’s get real – there’s no way our nation’s already overcrowded clinics would be able to take in another 2.5 million people.

The AHCA will mean low-income women, many of them pregnant or trying to avoid pregnancy, will have nowhere to go. All of those women who turn to Planned Parenthood to be screened for serious medical conditions, such as cancer and STDs, will no longer be able to do so. And sadder still, there’ll be others that might not be able to receive the much-needed treatment for those diseases. 

The subject of abortion looms large in this decision and has no doubt played a part in the crafting of this item in the proposed plan. But the truth is, federal monies could never be used and were not used for abortions, except in the case of rape, incest, or when the pregnancy poses a threat to the mother’s life.  And even under those circumstances, terminated pregnancies account for only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services.

So what’s the point in punishing this valuable health care asset?

While some have referred to all aspects of AHCA as “atrocious” and “disastrous” to the well-being of the American public, there is one more adjective they can add on in response to the proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood: cruel.

Rep. King, if you are going to vote away affordable health care, meet with your constituents and call a town hall meeting. We need answers, and we need a congressman that will listen to all concerns about this issue!