Daines Gets His Wish: Senate Bill Guts Women’s Health Services
Helena – Today, Senate leadership released another draft of their dangerous health care bill in a desperate attempt to cobble together enough support to pass the plan. A critical vote for passage, Senator Steve Daines continues to hide from Montanans and refuses to admit whether he supports the bill. But in apparent attempt to secure his vote, the latest draft includes the top item on his wish list: language defunding Planned Parenthood.
Back in June, Daines told Montana Public Radio that he would only support the Senate health care bill if it defunded the women’s health organization.
“Steve Daines' relentless attempts to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood are a dangerous assault on the health of American women,” said Nancy Keenan, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party.“Senate leadership knew the only way to get Daines’ support was to defund Planned Parenthood, so they seem to have granted his greatest wish to secure his vote. It’s appalling that Daines will only support a bill that would kick thousands of Montanans off their health care if it also guts health services for millions of women.”
Planned Parenthood operates five clinics in Montana, which serve more than 13,000 patients each year. Roughly 95 percent of services provided are preventative, including cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and annual exams.
If passed, the Senate health care bill would kick more than 70,000 Montanans off their insurance and blow a $5.3 billion hole in the state budget. It is opposed byMontana health care experts and insurance companies.