We're only six days into 2017, and already we're fucked.
Republicans are making a quick push to repeal Obamacare as soon as President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office. In doing so, they also plan to defund hundreds of millions of dollars from Planned Parenthood. House Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed at a press conference yesterday, that "Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill." Unfortunately, he didn't elaborate.
Planned Parenthood heavily relies on government funding. In 2014, the group reported receiving $553 million dollars from the government. If this bill passes, Planned Parenthood estimates that roughly 40% of its total funding will be at risk.
"Two and a half million women, men and young people come through our doors every year for lifesaving care like cancer screenings, birth control, and STI and STD tests," Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richard said in a statement, "and they cannot afford to have basic reproductive health care attacked."
The isn't the first time Republicans have tried to repeal Obamacare, while simultaneously attempting to defund Planned Parenthood. In 2015, a similar reconciliation bill that repealed major parts of Obamacare, which included language that defunded Planned Parenthood, passed Congress. However, it was vetoed by Obama.
This time though, with Trump having previously mentioned that, "As long as they do the abortion I am not for funding Planned Parenthood," it's highly unlikely our new president would veto the bill.
Additionally, with Republicans having a 52-48 majority in the Senate, it's exceedingly likely that the bill will pass the Senate. And since it is a reconciliation bill, it acts like a special fast-track bill, meaning the Senate would need a regular majority as opposed to a 60-vote majority. What's more, there is no filibustering with reconciliation bills. Therefore, the bill could be passed as early as next month.
There is, however, a smidge of hope. In short, Democrats in the Senate are going to appeal to the humanity of Republican Senators, particularly, to the women. Democratic Senator Patty Murray stated, "I know that Republican women here don't want their party to be known as the party that takes away a woman's ability to make her own health care choices."
Let's pray to God she's right.
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