Senate GOP releases health care bill with deep cuts to Planned Parenthood

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Today, GOP senators released their much-anticipated health care reform bill, which would repeal Obamacare taxes, phase out Medicaid’s expansion program and defund Planned Parenthood.

The bill’s details have many Americans feeling deeply concerned, especially Planned Parenthood organizers who worry for those who rely on Medicaid to have access to health care.

If the bill is passed, funding will be cut off for health care providers that provide abortions, unless the woman seeking an abortion was raped or her life is in danger.

Bay area residents who rely on Planned Parenthood tell us they are worried too.

Salome Grasland first visited Planned Parenthood when she was 18 and goes to the clinic multiple times a year.

“For all my checkups for my women health needs. For my pap smears, my STD testing, any random illnesses I’ve gotten along those lines, I’ve used Planned Parenthood,” says Grasland.

While many picture Planned Parenthood as an abortion clinic, organizers say that particular procedure represents less than a tenth of what they actually do.

“We’re talking about STI testing and screening, birth control, cancer screening,” said Anna Eskamani, senior director of public affairs and communications for Planned Parenthood.

More than 80,000 people use Planned Parenthood services in Florida and thousands of those patients rely on Medicaid.

“The fact that 13 Republican men came together to draft a healthcare bill including women is abhorrent and inappropriate to begin with,” Eskamani continued.

If the program is defunded under the health care reform bill, organizers predict it will only cause more abortions to take place.

“That’s not even me hypothesizing we look at states like Texas and Indiana and they have very dangerous health outcomes because of it,” said Eskamani. “Everyone should be upset right now. Really this is a bill that will impact everyone in your life and this is just one more example of the GOP being completely disconnected from the American people.”

This is just the first draft of the bill. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he wants to get a vote before the July 4 recess.

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