Recently we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Community Health Centers across America. They were started as a pilot project and have grown into the largest primary care system serving 23 million Americans. Most of their clients are poor but for some the Health Centers are the only medical care in town. They also reduce unnecessary visits to hospitals and keep down healthcare costs with quality care and by going beyond healthcare to solve problems that can affect health, such as nutrition, homelessness, mental health and unemployment. Health Centers are in 9000 communities providing primary and preventable health care services.
Contrast this with Planned Parenthood who according to their own website has “more than 700 clinics across the country.” Planned Parenthood offers pap smears and mammogram referrals as does the Community Health Centers. Planned Parenthood does not offer comprehensive primary care. Planned Parenthood does offer abortions and sells body parts from those abortions as evidenced by recent videos. The unedited versions of these videos are online and quite graphic. We may choose to look the other way, but we can never again say we did not know the fact that aborted baby parts are on sale either on the open or black market. (The last sentence is a paraphrase of William Wilberforce speaking of the horrors of the slave trade)
There are those (like me) who believe that Planned Parenthood should not receive any tax money. Planned Parenthood received 528.4 million dollars in 2013-2014 from government entities per their own annual report. Planned Parenthood did 327,643 abortions that year and 379,692 pap exams again using their own annual report. I would have assumed that from all the rhetoric about Planned Parenthood and pap screenings, that the actual number of pap exams would have been significantly greater than that.
There is a trap Americans fall into when we seek an answer to “what are you going to replace it with.” We don’t have to replace a big government program with another. Sometimes government needs to stop/shut down programs. For instance, with Obamacare, we often try to “repeal and replace” when straight out repeal should be the goal with the free market filling the void. In the Texas House we have a rule during our budget debate that if you add something to the budget, you must take the money from another place in the budget. It is a good rule and keeps everyone from just adding to the budget without realizing cuts need to be made somewhere. The Planned Parenthood issue and Community Health Centers are federal programs not state entities. In this case, all the tax payer money headed to Planned Parenthood should be eliminated and the money sent to the Community Health Centers who provide more health care to more women, in more neighborhoods (urban and rural) throughout America. Community Health Centers also don’t provide abortions and sell the parts which many taxpayers (including me) find abhorrent at best.