On the same day Gov. Dannel Malloy called for the General Assembly to cover the federal share of Planned Parenthood reimbursement in the event a Republican healthcare reform bill becomes law, the president of Planned Parenthood visited the state.
"It would be a shock," Malloy said, if federal reimbursements for Planned Parenthood services were to be blocked under the new healthcare bill being pushed by Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump's administration.
“Breast screenings, cervical screenings, all kinds of work being done by them and it would be a gigantic loss," Malloy added
Wednesday evening, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England honored Judy Tabar, the President of the region, for her 20 years of service.
Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood nationally, traveled to New Haven for the event. She said she's working to make sure Planned Parenthood services are protected.
Richards said, "I think what we’re looking at is an administration and a congress that is trying to roll back the clock."
The measure in Congress, which only needs a simple majority in both the House and Senate to go to President Trump's desk for his signature, would remove Planned Parenthood as a healthcare provider that would be reimbursed for services provided to Medicare and Medicaid patients.
"They’re actually saying to women, ‘you can no longer choose the healthcare provider of your choice,'" Richards said. "We are actively working with Democrats and Republicans to make sure that doesn’t happen."
Malloy proposed having the state cover the costs where the federal government wouldn't. Last year, the state of Connecticut paid out $8.9 million for Planned Parenthood services. The federal government reimbursed $5.3 million of that, meaning if the new healthcare proposal went through, Connecticut would be on the hook for the entire bill.
Rep. Themis Klarides, the top Republican in the House, said she wouldn't rule out covering the entire bill in the state budget, but did caution that any spending plan will be very tight and such an expense would have to fit.
There are 17 Planned Parenthood locations in Connecticut, and 70,000 total patients were seen last year by locations in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Richards, who had praise for Malloy, said she would rather see the federal government deal with ensuring Planned Parenthood is protected, rather than working with states.
“We want to fight this first in Congress. I really believe the proposal that Congress has made, the proposal that Speaker Ryan has put forward isn’t good for women, it isn’t good for families and it isn’t good for women of all parties."
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut