Add funding for women’s health to the list of popular things Jeb Bush wants to repeal

Jeb Bush really doesn’t like it when the government is involved in health care. Like, at all. From repealing Obamacare and replacing it with Apple Watches (something terrific, for sure), to phasing out Medicare in its entirety, you’ll be hard pressed to find any government health program that Bush hasn’t made decidedly non-moderate threats against.

And now we can add generalized women’s health funding to that list.

Speaking at the Send North America conference, one of the largest Evangelical gatherings in the country, Bush quipped that “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues,” referring to the amount of money that Planned Parenthood receives in Medicaid reimbursements on an annual basis:

Here’s the quote with a bit more context:

You could take dollar for dollar—although I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars—for women’s health issues, but if you took dollar for dollar, there are many extraordinarily fine community health organizations that exist to provide quality care for women on a wide variety of health issues. But abortion should not be funded by the government.

Following the predictable backlash, including a direct tweet from Hillary Clinton, Bush walked his comments back, saying that he “misspoke:”

With regards to women’s health funding broadly, I misspoke, as there are countless community health centers, rural clinics, and other women’s health organizations that need to be fully funded. They provide critical services to all, but particularly low-income women who don’t have the access they need.

I was referring to the hard-to-fathom $500 million in federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood – an organization that was callously participating in the unthinkable practice of selling fetal organs. Democrats and Republicans agree we absolutely must defund them and redirect those funds to other women’s health organizations.

Of course, even this walkback is itself dismissive, to say nothing of false. Abortion already isn’t funded by the government (and maybe it should be!). The federal funding that Planned Parenthood receives is for the “critical services” that Bush seems to think only happen at other women’s health facilities. You know, the ones that don’t have names Republicans have been hammering for decades. And, finally, for serious, can’t believe we have to repeat this: Planned Parenthood isn’t “selling” fetal organs. The organs are voluntarily donated, and Planned Parenthood is reimbursed for the costs associated with sending them to research labs. Twelve years ago, 100 Senators got together and 93 of them decided that this was a totally OK thing to do.

Jeb Bush, screenshot via YouTube

Jeb Bush, screenshot via YouTube

That includes six current Republican Senators: John McCain, Orrin Hatch, Thad Cochran, Mitch McConnell, Richard Shelby and Chuck Grassley.

Let’s not forget that the Iraq War that Jeb wholeheartedly supported — likely for reasons going beyond the fact that his brother started it — cost us more than half a billion dollars per day. And let’s also not forget that “half a billion dollars” divided by the 157 million women in the United States as of the last census comes out to $3.18 per woman. When one considers that one in five women will visit a Planned Parenthood health center at some point in their lives, that’s still just under $16 per visitor.

That isn’t a lot of money! We should totally be spending more money on women’s health than that! At the very least, we shouldn’t be lying about where it’s going.

Once again, it says a lot that this is the “moderate,” “compassionate,” “serious” candidate that Republicans want to have as their frontrunner.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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10 Responses to “Add funding for women’s health to the list of popular things Jeb Bush wants to repeal”

  1. mdsman says:

    Is not ACA the law of the land?
    does not ACA require every person to have insurance?
    Is insurance not free, medicaide, for those at 100% of poverty level and below?
    If you take the max amount people can pay, for a state that did not expand Medicaid to the 150% level, here is what a family of 4 would have to pay:
    income level v poverty Annual Max Weekly Max
    100% (2.01% for 2015) $479.39 $9.21
    150% (4.01% for 2015) $711.74 $13.69
    So, how about this…..
    Follow the law and get your insurance. then PP can get their operating budget as every other medical practice does, via insurance payments.
    And remember, ACA requires reproductive and preventative services to be at no cost or copay to the insured so, it will not cost additional for most of the services.
    Why is that wrong?
    Why must the taxpayer provide more that $100 billion in subsidies per year for ACA and then foot another $500 million to further subsidize PP?
    It makes no sense. Should the taxpayer also provide 40% of the operating costs for every medical practice? What about cancer treatment? Same thing? Why is PP special?
    And remember, this is not about closing or ending PP, it is about them funding themselves as all other medical practices do
    Follow the law
    Enforce the law

  2. 1nancy2 says:

    2, Yes, and he’s the smart one? Haha. I say he is super lazy, boring, monotone, unprepeared, awful with no last name either. Wait; it’s BUSH. I detest him, can’t you tell?

  3. Don Chandler says:

    Good pertinent comment:


    Is Viagra Covered by Health Insurance?

    The high cost of Viagra, averaging $22 to $24 per pill, leads many men to seek health insurance coverage for this drug. However, insurance companies have been ambivalent about their coverage for ED drugs, with some insurers picking up the cost and others refusing to cover any portion of the bill.

    For example, Medicare Part D does not cover any type of erectile dysfunction drug. This is bad news for the elderly population, the largest group of men who need the help provided by ED medications. On the other hand, many private insurance plans, such as Aetna and United Healthcare, make provisions to cover the cost of Viagra or other ED drugs when deemed “medically necessary” by a doctor and if the patient’s state of residence requires them to do so. HMOs usually cover Viagra with a higher co-pay than for other drugs.

    The only way to know if Viagra is covered by your individual health insurance company is to examine your insurer’s formulary. This is a list of drugs that are covered at various rates by the insurer. If you have a prescription drug plan, you will note that the company usually covers drugs in three levels: Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Tier I medications are considered essential and usually involve the cheapest co-pays. Tier II medications may be brand-name or more expensive products for which the patient must pay a higher portion of the bill. Tier III drugs are usually considered non-essential and are billed at the highest rate. Most insurers list Viagra and other ED drugs as Tier III.


    The bit is sympathetic for men that want viagra covered by insurance because it costs $20-24 a pop but somehow men Jeb’s age think $17 a woman to visit Planned Parenthood is too high a cost? The guy is not smart.

  4. 2karmanot says:

    Jebbya: regressive, dimwit, troll…..there that just about covers it.

  5. BeccaM says:

    Police, prisons, the military, and corporate subsidies: The only things the GOPers want to soak the American taxpayers (the bottom 80%) to pay for… and given their propensity for running up deficits whenever they’re in charge, the ‘pay for’ part is optional.

  6. gratuitous says:

    Quick follow up, governor: Should Viagra and Cialis be covered on the government formularies, or on any insurance plan? If you’re not going to spend money on women’s health care for vital services, do you think the American taxpayers should pay for men to get erections? Isn’t that playing God?

  7. Indigo says:


  8. Jon Green says:

    Old foggy Republican thing, at least from the POV of this heterosexual man.

  9. Indigo says:

    Do all heterosexual men hate women enough to refuse them health care or is that just an old-foggy Republican thing?

  10. Bill_Perdue says:

    Insurance and pharmaceutical companies love siphoning off the tax collars and ‘copays’ of women and men under the cover of federal laws like Aetna/GSKcare, aka Obama/Romney care. What’ll they like about this proposal is that thy’ll get more of the money.

    Attacks on Medicare are entirely bipartisan. A Republican president will likely continue Obama’s efforts to gut Medicare. and injure the lives of retirees and older workers.

    WASHINGTON — In his new budget, President Obama proposed on Monday to squeeze $399 billion over the next 10 years out of Medicare, Medicaid and other programs run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Under the proposals, many Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay more for their care and coverage. The president would, for example, introduce a co-payment for new Medicare beneficiaries who receive home health care services, and he would collect $4 billion over 10 years by imposing a surcharge on premiums for new beneficiaries who buy generous private insurance to supplement Medicare.

    In addition, Mr. Obama’s budget would reduce scheduled Medicare payments to teaching hospitals, hundreds of small rural hospitals, nursing homes and health maintenance organizations that care for older Americans and people with disabilities.

    Nancy LeaMond, an executive vice president of AARP, the lobby for older Americans, welcomed a proposal by Mr. Obama to hold down the cost of prescription drugs. But she said, “We have concerns about certain proposals that could shift costs onto older Americans, such as higher premiums, deductibles and co-payments for Medicare beneficiaries.”

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