Apparently, this was one political argument that the White House has decided isn’t worth it. President Obama reportedly is asking House Democrats to drop the family-planning provision of the stimulus package:
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are likely to jettison family planning funds for the low-income from an $825 billion economic stimulus bill, officials said late Monday, following a personal appeal from President Barack Obama at a time the administration is courting Republican critics of the legislation.
Several officials said a final decision was expected on Tuesday, coinciding with Obama’s scheduled visit to the Capitol for separate meetings with House and Senate Republicans.
The provision has emerged as a point of contention among Republicans, who criticize it as an example of wasteful spending that would neither create jobs nor otherwise improve the economy.
Under the provision, states no longer would be required to obtain federal permission to offer family planning services — including contraceptives — under Medicaid, the health program for the low-income.