The AP reports this morning that House Democrats are on the verge of removing a Medicaid provision added to their stimulus bill which would have eliminated the need for states to seek a waiver before providing more family-planning services to lower-income women.
The Medicaid provision had become controversial over the past few days not because of its monetary value — in fact, it would save states an estimated $400 million over 10 years — but because Republicans had loudly moaned that it amounted to “taxpayer funding” for “the abortion industry.”
Never mind that a GOP president helped create the waiver program. Never mind that eight GOP governors participate in it. Family planning must be stopped in order to get “bipartisan support” for the stimulus bill.
And buried in the middle of the AP story is one notable tidbit:
Several Democrats said Monday night that Obama had spoken personally with Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., about removing the provision. Waxman is chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over Medicaid and a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.