Inslee: Congress should keep “hands off” of healthcare

Inslee: Congress should keep “hands off” of healthcare

In his first week in office, President Donald Trump made efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, reinstating a policy that would impact U.S. funding to organizations doing global health work.

But staff say “defunding” isn’t really what’s going on.

The organization isn’t exactly bank-rolled by the government. But, changes made through budget reconciliation would mean the nonprofit would no longer be reimbursed for providing Medicaid patients with Planned Parenthood care.

In addition to the abortions that make Planned Parenthood the target of controversy, that “care” includes breast cancer screenings, STI testing, and contraception.

In Washington, the sucess of those efforts could significantly impact the Greater Washington and North Idaho clinic. Of the 30,000 patients the clinic serves each year, 20,000 rely on Medicaid.

Governor Jay Inslee stopped by Spokane’s clinic today, with a direct message for the federal government about Planned Parenthood, as well as the future of the Affordable Care Act.

“We are here today to say simply this: To the President of the United States, to the U.S. Congress, keep your hands off the healthcare of the people of Spokane County,” he said.

He encouraged attendees to get involved, if they worry about the proposed termination to the Affordable Care Act.

“When your health is threatened, it is appropriate to speak loudly and forcefully and repetitively against those who threaten your health,” Inslee said.

Another talking point: eastern Washington is already a medically under served area, with fewer providers in more rural areas than our western counterpart. Inslee said changes to healthcare plans and Planned Parenthood access could further increase that shortage.

The governor admitted that the Affordable Care act is not perfect.

“We understand there could be some improvements to this healthcare system, any system could be improved,” Inslee said.

But, he asks Congressional Republicans to be sure they have a plan to replace the current system, before it is terminated.

“Some people argue that this is some kind of partisan argument. I don’t think it should be partisan that you don’t take away people’s healthcare in this country without replacing it. That should be something Republicans and Democrats can agree on, ” the governor said.