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By Nozipo Wobogo
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Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011  
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U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo (Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) voted against three Republican sponsored bills that she said would have a negative impact on the availability of health care in the nation.

All of the bills would substantially reduce or eliminate the funding for women’s health, prevention efforts, and patients’ rights. One of the bills would also eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act.

The three House Congressional bills are: H.Con.Res. 35, H.Con.Res. 36 and H.R. 1217.

In voting against all three bills, which passed in the House, Eshoo said, “Republicans are continuing their assault against healthcare for those who need it most ... they represent an ideological attack on affordable healthcare access, and women’s health.”

The Affordable Care Act, H.Con.Res. 35, which passed by a vote of 240-135, prevents insurance companies from taking actions against policy holders such as canceling a policy when the insured gets sick or refusing to cover an applicant because of pre-existing conditions. According to many experts, these two actions alone account for thousands of deaths.

H.Con.Res. 36, which passed by a vote of 241-185, blocks federal funding to Planned Parenthood because Republican representatives who oppose abortion expressed concerns about government funding of abortions performed by the organization. Existing laws prohibit money from the government being used for abortions and it has been reported that 97% percent of services provided by Planned Parenthood are for birth control, cancer screening, PAP smears and other female medical attention most especially to women who cannot afford such services on the open market. This leaves 3% for abortions that are funded from non-government sources.

H.R. 1217, which passed by a vote of 236-18, eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which highlights the need for a mechanism to make health care dollars go further. The Prevention and Public Health Fund was a provision of the Affordable Care Act which was designed to reduce the cost of health services by putting resources into prevention and public health programs.

Trust for America’s Health, a research organization, reported that a $10 per person per year expenditure in preventative services could save more than $16 billion annually within five years. This is worth five dollars for every dollar spent on medical assistance.

Rep. Eshoo said. “None of these bills are related to job creation, funding the government, or reducing the deficit—they represent an ideological attack on affordable healthcare access, and women’s health.”

To contact the author of this article, email Nozipo Wobogo at nwobogo@epatoday.org.



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