Abstinence-Only Education Funding In Health Reform Bill To Please Republicans

The House health care reform bill restricts abortions to get conservative votes. Now it turns out that conservatives also got something slipped into the Senate bill–funding for abstinence-only programs. From The Gaggle:

Their provision would restore a program called Title V, which, since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, has allocated a yearly $50 million in grants to abstinence-only education programs. Obama let the program lapse in June, leaving some abstinence-only groups in dire straits. So in September, Sen. Orrin Hatch offered an amendment to restore Title V via heath-care reform, which (much to the outrage of liberal groups) just squeaked through the Senate Finance Committee with a 12–11 vote. A similar amendment, offered in the House by Rep. Terry Lee from Nebraska, died in committee.

If the Senate language survives reconciliation, the Title V program will be extended through 2014. This will not, however, bring abstinence funding back to the levels of the past decade. In 2008, Title V grants accounted for just under 25 percent of the federal abstinence budget (the rest of the budget came from other abstinence-only funding sources not restored in the Senate bill, including Community Based Abstinence Education Grants and the Adolescent Family Life Act).

How do Republicans, who claim to be fiscal conservatives, justify spending money for abstinence-only programs when such programs have repeatedly been proven to be ineffective? What is the point of offering Republicans such compromises when they won’t vote for the final bill regardless of what is in it?

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4 Comments

  1. 1
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    I like those rare moments of common ground.  I’d cut the funding for that in a heart beat if I could. While I completely accept that this was an ineffective program, even if it had been effective I’d oppose this just for dumping a different issue spending bill into another. Government waste and pork to buy off votes, that’s all that is.  So much to dislike about government spending on both sides of the aisle.  It is just sickening, I’ve got to go, these words I write just  can’t express my disgust with them.

  2. 2
    Debbie Woodall says:

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  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Mike,

    Right. Besides opposing this because it is a waste of money, it is also odd that this is attached to a health care bill in any form. With the bill being over 2000 pages I fear there might be other unpleasant surprises.

  4. 4
    Eclectic Radical says:

    ‘Right. Besides opposing this because it is a waste of money, it is also odd that this is attached to a health care bill in any form. With the bill being over 2000 pages I fear there might be other unpleasant surprises.’
     
    Historically, any bill passed includes federal money for internal public improvements in Alaska and Texas. So I imagine we’ll see some earmarks in that direction. If they have anything at all to do with actual health care, it will be a big improvement from the past. 😉
     
    More seriously, it is sadly only natural that Republicans are making every effort to link abortion and health care reform. Completely independent of the argument of the issue on the merits (even the dishonest argument of the issue on the merits as practiced by the right), many of the people most in need of better access to health care will be influenced to lobby against their own interests because of the loaded word ‘abortion’ and its mere presence in the debate.
     
     
     

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