Contraceptive Stimulus Myth Debunked

12:30 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
"This week, the focus is on contraceptives. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has claimed that the package would spend “hundreds of millions on contraceptives.” Yesterday on ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) about the provision.
Pelosi replied:
PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.
Here is the actual text from the stimulus package’s summary:
State Option to Cover Family Planning Services. Under current law, the Secretary has the authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to grant waivers to states to allow them to cover family planning services and supplies to low-income women who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid. The bill would give states the option to provide such coverage without obtaining a waiver. States could continue to use the existing waiver authority if they preferred.

Like other portions of the stimulus bill, this measure would not only aid states, but also provide preventative, cost-saving health care to help low-income women support their families and keep working. It focuses on access to recommended services and contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancies and promote maternal and infant health — not abortion. ThinkProgress has learned that an upcoming Congressional Budget Office report estimates that this change would save $200 million over five years and $700 million over 10."
Either way, contraceptives are much cheaper than medical care and welfare for the unwanted children that would have resulted.