Women’s health advocates were dismayed this week to see the removal of family-planning aid from Congress’ economic recovery bill after a push by Republicans to politicize a generally cut-and-dry issue of Medicaid waivers. (Time has some good background here.)
But the dismay may not last long. A source present at today’s White House signing ceremony for the Lilly Ledbetter bill tells me that President Obama gave assurances that the family planning aid would be done soon — perhaps as soon as next week, when the House is set to take up a spending bill that would keep the government funded until October.
Obama emphasized that the family-planning aid “makes the budget look better, it’s a money saver,” the source said. In fact, removing the need for Medicaid waivers for family planning saves states an estimated $700 million over 10 years.
By removing the family-planning aid from the stimulus at Obama’s request, Democrats “were giving a nod to the Republicans, believing they would act in good faith,” the source added. And given how many GOPers voted for the stimulus bill, sounds like the family-planning aid is back on track.