I guess when the government gives you gold-plated health insurance, you don't have to worry about other women getting affordable health care. So goes the thinking of Congresswoman Kristi Noem. While we taxpayers cover all of the cancer screenings, birth control, and other women's health services that the Congresswoman and her two teenage daughters may need, Noem voted Friday to deny that courtesy to millions of fellow women who might need to seek such services at Planned Parenthood and other Title X clinics.
My friend Carmen Toft explains what Noem would take away:
Every year, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses across the country carry out nearly one million lifesaving screenings for cervical cancer and 830,000 breast exams.
They also provide contraception to nearly 2.5 million patients and nearly four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Sixty percent of the women who are cared for by Planned Parenthood and similar health centers report that these centers are their only source of health care.
As for fiscal discipline and deficit reduction, family planning programs save money. For every public dollar invested in family planning, taxpayers save nearly $4. The House leadership is clearly out of touch with the needs and wishes of the American people, especially those of women [Carmen Toft, "GOP Attempts to Defund Family Planning," The Independent Local, 2011.02.21].
That's Kristi Noem: taxpayer-subsidized goodies for me, but not for thee... not even the ones that save money and save lives.
Bonus Congressional Fast Fact: In her final term in Congress, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin voted with her party 91% of the time. Six weeks in, Rep. Kristi Noem has voted with her party 91% of the time. So much for that great freshman-class independence we were told we were voting for.