GOP turns a deaf ear to women … again

Boehner would raid funds from breast and cervical cancer screenings as price for holding down rates on student loans

Boehner turns deaf ear to women again

Holding the line on student loan rates is the right thing to do, unless – like John Boehner – you use it as an excuse to gut preventive services for millions of women … and children with birth defects.

We would definitely call this a case of stepping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Rick Unger, writing for Forbes, has an excellent column on how the GOP on Wednesday replaced one public relations problem with what we think could be a bigger one.

Speaker of the House John Boehner has been feeling the full-court press – and not just from the White House – to hold the line on the cost of student loans. Knowing he’d have to concede, Boehner decided to use the opportunity to take yet another swipe at the Affordable Care Act, demanding the loan relief be offset by cutting the Prevention and Public Health Fund – what he describes as a “slush fund.”

That “slush fund” Boehner refers to, Ungar says, actually contains the kind of “slush” that families across America are going to consider a huge deal: funds for preventive provisions “to screen women for breast and cervical cancer in addition to providing funds for the treatment of children with birth defects.”

After the recent hoopla over contraception, you’d think the GOP leader might think twice about short changing millions of women who have already been given the short end of the stick on health coverage. But it appears that women’s health issues are still just not on his party’s radar.

UPDATE, 4/30/12: Republicans have pointed out that Congress as a whole months earlier dipped into the Prevention and Public Health Fund to the tune of $4 billion to finance an extension of a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits. According to the Chicago Tribune, the GOP’s student loan solution would eliminate the $12 billion remaining in the health fund. We stand behind the original premise of this post.

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