“The fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee today would take our country backward, harm women’s health and undermine progress to improve the quality and value of health care.
It is appalling that the Committee would end the federal family planning program, which for decades has been providing contraception, cancer screenings and other preventive health services to low-income women who would otherwise go without care; slash funds for effective, comprehensive sexuality education programs while increasing support for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that research shows aren’t effective; and enact a sweeping exemption that lets any individual, employer or health plan refuse to purchase or provide insurance coverage for any item or service to which they object on moral or religious grounds. And the Committee’s decision to continue the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, which withholds abortion coverage from women enrolled in Medicaid, is callous and punitive.
The cuts to federal agencies working to promote higher quality, better coordinated care at lower cost are irresponsible. This bill would gut critically important programs. In particular, failing to fund the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, cutting $6.8 billion from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation appropriation, and failing to provide a badly needed increase for the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology would be short-sighted and harmful.
This legislation and these priorities are wrong for the country. We urge the full House and the Senate to reject this budget and instead work to improve the health, well-being and economic security of women and families.”