There is an interesting article on Time.com about the family planning aspects of the stimulus package that were removed. Obama reportedly made the request to House Democrats to remove the provision as a concession to the GOP. But, the bill passed the house with NO GOP votes.
The Time Magazine article gives a good explanation of the Medicaid exception that was being requested:
What would the Medicaid provision have done?
Before Obama took office, a group of health organizations including the March of Dimes sent memos to his transition aides asking for a change in federal policy to alter a Bush-era Medicaid policy. Current law does not allow women of child-bearing age (15-44) to become eligible for Medicaid coverage until after they become pregnant or if they have children who are enrolled in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). States that want to expand their Medicaid coverage to allow low-income women to access family planning services must first obtain a federal waiver.
The provision originally included in the stimulus package would have eliminated the waiver requirement, allowing states to directly access Medicaid funds for family planning services that do not involve abortion.
But I do have two criticisms of the article.
1. Why is the photo at the top a person handing out condoms? That EXACTLY what the anti-choicers were saying about the bill, and it’s wrong. The stimulus package was NOT asking for condoms to be handed out on the streets.
2. At the end of the article, it says, “As one progressive policy analyst noted, inserting the Medicaid provision into the stimulus package ‘was kind of like bringing up marriage on the third date. You know it’s going to come up eventually, so why start a fight at the very beginning before you’ve gotten anywhere?“‘. Who said that? And does anyone else find that to be an offensive comment? Would love to hear your thoughts!