Sexually transmitted diseases are staging a comeback. Rates for gonorrhea and syphilis are now at all-time highs, nationally. And Franklin County now reports a chlamydia rate 30 percent higher than the statewide average. Many who contract such infections normally reach out to Planned Parenthood, which is a large provider of STI/STD testing and treatment. But the outlook for Planned Parenthood is looking dire, with the new administration calling for defunding.
To understand what health care would be like without Planned Parenthood, we only have to look at Texas’ experience. When funding there was cut off, usage of some of the most effective forms of birth control dropped, while Medicaid-covered childbirths rose, as was recently reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
If women who are today eligible for Planned Parenthood services — like birth control, cancer screening, STI/STD screening and more — forgo these services, end up pregnant or riddled with disease, then transition to private insurance post-Obamacare, the health plans covering them would bear the financial cost. Those costs would then be passed on to all of us.
Planned Parenthood is not just a good idea. It saves lives and also saves money for the federal government and for its citizens.
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Wes Luckey, Kennewick