Sadly, the bill expanding this program was passed by the House and Senate late last month. All we can do now is make sure the record is straight on why it was a bad idea, and who saw through the "gee, let's help the poor" smoke screen put out by Planned Parenthood in its bid to keep its revenue stream high... yes in other words, set ourselves up for an "I told you so" moment.
Here is a letter I submitted to the Herald today:
When a state-subsidized program is supposed to save us money by spending money... well, let's just say I'm doubtful, and very skeptical, especially when Planned Parenthood is involved.
Planned Parenthood's latest money-making scheme: Convincing the legislature to expand the "Take Charge" program. At first, it sounds like a good idea: Give free birth control to more poor women, reducing pregnancies covered by State Medicaid.
But it's a foolish time to expand any program, especially based on a dubious notion that it "could" save money; and it's really a revenue booster for Planned Parenthood. Rep. Jason Overstreet saw through this legislation and spoke out boldly. Rep. Vincent Buys and Sen. Doug Ericksen also voted against it.
But now, more people getting this new "free" benefit won't want to let it go. When dreamed-of State savings don't occur, we'll be stuck with it. Pills are cheaper than pregnancies, but the program also covers emergency contraception and sterilization. And there's the abortion factor.
The legislation doesn't fund abortions; but even the National Abortion Federation says half of all women getting abortions report they used contraceptives when they got pregnant.
Sounds like Planned Parenthood did alright for itself. Too bad it's at our expense.
Here are links to my sources. Maybe you'll find some inspiration for writing your own letter about this issue:
Info on the bill from the Legislature's website
Info on the bill from Washington Votes
National Abortion Federation report
Link to State Senate's fiscal report on the bill
The letter making shocked noises about Overstreet's actions: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/06/02/2042659/opposes-overstreet-on-state-family.html
Here's information from other bloggers and sources about this bill, including statements that the program being expanded was actually losing numbers of people -- in other words, we're increasing a program that wasn't even meeting its capacity in the first place:
DSHS report (undated) saying they had not yet seen the expected decrease in Medicaid expense that they'd hoped for from the "Take Charge" program.
Bellingham Herald article on April 27, 2011, which stated: "the total amount the state spends on Medicaid-eligible deliveries every year has gone up by about $128 million since the program (referring to "Take Charge") began."Abortion in Washington says this bill just increases interference in women's lives.
Planned Parenthood: More Funding, More Abortion (by Human Life of Washington)