Leaked ObamaCare bill would defund Planned Parenthood

Leaked ObamaCare bill would defund Planned Parenthood
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A leaked draft of the ObamaCare repeal bill from House Republicans would defund Planned Parenthood, fulfilling their long-held goal cutting off federal money to the organization. 

It's unclear how much of the draft legislation has changed since it was created Feb. 10, but Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.) has promised to revoke funding from Planned Parenthood through the same bill that would repeal ObamaCare. 

Specifically, the language in the draft would block Planned Parenthood, and other health organizations that provide abortions, from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for a year. 

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There would be exceptions for rape, incest and cases where a woman's life is in danger. 

According to Planned Parenthood, more than half of its patients are Medicaid recipients who need preventive healthcare services. 

Defunding Planned Parenthood has long been a goal of Republicans because it provides abortions, even though they are legally prohibited from using federal funds for the procedure. 

But including the provision in the ObamaCare repeal bill could make passage more difficult, particularly in the Senate, where Republicans have a narrow 52-48 majority.

Sen. Lisa Murkowsi said this week she would not vote for any repeal bill that also defunds Planned Parenthood. 

"I, for one, do not believe that Planned Parenthood has any place in our deliberations on the Affordable Care Act," she said.

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"Taxpayer dollars should not be used to pay for abortions, but I will not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides."

Murkowski joined another Republican moderate, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), and former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) in 2015 to try to strip a provision defunding Planned Parenthood from the Senate's ObamaCare repeal bill. 

Collins also has not yet said if she would vote against the repeal bill this year if includes the Planned Parenthood language. 

If Senate Republicans lost three votes in their caucus, and Democrats were united in opposition, they would not be able to pass an ObamaCare repeal bill.

Meanwhile, leaked audio from the GOP retreat last month showed some rank-and-file members in the House were worried about including the defunding language in a repeal bill. 

“We are just walking into a gigantic political trap if we go down this path of sticking Planned Parenthood in the health insurance bill,” said Rep. John Faso (R-N.Y.).

“If you want to do it somewhere else, I have no problem, but I think we are creating a political minefield for ourselves — House and Senate.” 

Planned Parenthood said Friday that if the draft were passed, it would have a "devastating impact on healthcare in America." 

"An estimated one in five women in America will rely on Planned Parenthood for care at some point in her life. Access to basic women's health care shouldn’t get caught up in congressional Republicans' extreme agenda," said Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens.