Everyone Deserves Quality Reproductive Healthcare
June 25, 2015
Defending Title X: An Update on Recent Action in the Last 48 Hours
Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee held a full committee markup of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) fiscal year (FY) 2016 funding bill that if passed, would eliminate the Title X family planning program. Today’s markup was the next in a series of steps to advance the FY 2016 appropriations bill through the chamber.
During the markup, several family planning champions including Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) offered amendments that would fund Title X at $300 million, a figure identical to that suggested in the president’s FY 2016 budget. Representatives Lowey and DeLauro as well as Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) spoke in support of Title X and should be commended by constituents in their districts for their efforts to protect the program. Both amendments failed on party-line votes.
In anticipation of the markup, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan yesterday sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) highlighting the Administration’s serious concerns about the spending bill “which would underfund [these] important investments and includes highly problematic ideologically-motivated provisions.” Director Donovan’s letter specifically noted the elimination of Title X as an area of concern given that it is one of the “critical investments in public health and safety.” This letter is widely viewed as a precursor to a veto threat by the White House.
This morning, the Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to markup its FY 2016 Labor-HHS bill that passed out of the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee earlier this week. The Senate proposal includes a $28.7 million (10%) cut to Title X and would fund the program at $257.8 million if enacted. NFPRHA anticipates that Senate champions led by Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) will introduce a number of amendments including an amendment to raise the spending caps that would allow for a Title X increase.
Also in the news:
Supreme Court Decision Secures Affordable Access to Care for Millions
In another victory for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) today, the US Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, issued its opinion in King v. Burwell, ruling that federal financial assistance to purchase health insurance under the ACA can be made available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, regardless of the type of Marketplace selected by the state. The historic decision upholds the integrity of the ACA and ensures that millions of Americans will continue to have access to affordable and comprehensive health coverage.