Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nancy Pelosi's 'Condom Stimulus' Repels Obama

White House spokesman says President didn't suggest contraceptives to save tax dollars

-- From "Backing Away from Pelosi, White House Says Birth Control Funding in Stimulus Bill Was Not Obama's Idea" by Fred Lucas, Staff Writer CNSNews.com 1/26/09

The Obama White House on Monday backed away from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s support for increased federal funding of contraception in the $825-billion stimulus bill now under consideration by Congress.

“The principles of what he thought should be in the package--that wasn’t part of that,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton told CNSNews.com.

The provision in the draft legislation would expand federal funding for contraception through Medicaid, allowing those not poor enough to be currently eligible for Medicaid to nonetheless qualify for the contraception aid.

A program created during the Clinton administration allows states to seek a waiver to offer Medicaid “family planning” services to those who are otherwise not qualified for Medicaid. When states get a waiver, the federal government matches state Medicaid family planning funds with $9 in federal money for every $1 the state spends.

Under the provision in the stimulus package supported by Speaker Pelosi, states would no longer need to apply for a waiver. All 50 states would be given 9-1 federal matching funds for their Medicaid-funded contraceptives.

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