The Republicans' long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — which among a slew of other provisions revokes the law's mandates and replaces all subsidies with tax credits — also includes a provision intended to defund Planned Parenthood, the Hill reported.
According to the Hill, the bill uses the same language in a failed 2015 ACA repeal effort that would block the family-planning organization from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for a year. The draft bill additionally prohibits any plans offered on the individual market from covering abortions.
Planned Parenthood fired back on Monday evening, calling the potential impact of the law "devastating" in an emailed statement.
"It is important to note that federal funding does not go towards abortion, a law Planned Parenthood opposes but follows," Planned Parenthood Federation of America said. "Every year, 2.5 million people rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for essential health services, and studies consistently show that proposals to 'defund' Planned Parenthood will result in people losing access to health care. As experts have repeatedly said, other providers cannot absorb Planned Parenthood's patients.
"One in 5 women in America has relied on Planned Parenthood, and their health care shouldn't get caught up in congressional Republicans' extreme agenda," PPFA executive vice president Dawn Laguens said. "This proposal would deny millions of women access to cancer screenings, birth control and STD testing and treatment."
The inclusion of the Planned Parenthood defunding language may help lure conservatives to support the legislation, but it could also make the draft bill's passage through Congress more perilous. GOP Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski has said she will not vote for any bill that does so, according to the Hill.
Murkowski and three other Republican senators also co-signed a letter opposing any replacement "that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states," leaving the GOP potentially two votes short of passing the bill. If the provision remains in place and Murkowski holds to her guns, Republicans' plan could face a tighter margin in a final vote.