As the American Health Care Act, the bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), comes before the Senate, some GOP senators have indicated that they are open to voting for the bill even if it includes funding for Planned Parenthood.
The bill narrowly passed last month in the House by a vote of 217 to 213, reports The Christian Post. Some GOP senators worry that they will need to be open to voting for the bill even if it includes granting states the right to direct federal tax dollars to the controversial organization.
Several senators have indicated that they are open to taking an “ends justifies the means” approach and that, at this juncture, their priority is passing the Obamacare repeal legislation.
Leaving in options to fund Planned Parenthood may give the AHCA the boost it needs to pass in the Senate by garnering support from more moderate GOP senators, as well as possibly some Democratic senators.
Sen. Marco Rubio explained his reasoning in an interview with Politico:
"I'm always looking for an opportunity to do what's right on that issue. But that said, I would say that my focus right now is on the broader health care marketplace, getting it fixed. Certainly, if it has that in there, it would be something I'd be supportive of. Whether I condition my vote on it is not something I'm prepared to say."
Others, however, see the potential compromise as a blow to the reason the AHCA was able to narrowly pass in the House to begin with.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins explains:
"The only reason the American Health Care Act squeaked out of the House was because a number of conservatives thought gutting Planned Parenthood's funding and ending taxpayer funding of abortion was important enough to override their other concerns. If that firewall is removed, the repeal will go down in flames. The strong support from pro-lifers in the House (and groups on the Hill) would vanish. Then what? The GOP would have failed once again to make good on their decade-old pledge to end Obamacare. And the American people wouldn't nearly be as forgiving this time, because they'll have had every tool at their disposal: control of Congress, the White House, and the backing of voters."
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Publication date: June 15, 2017