Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Just took a look at the comments on the Blogs For Victory “Never Again” post, in which Leo Pusateri insanely equates Planned Parenthood with the Nazi Germany genocide of European jews. Apparently poor Leo is completely unaware that real genocide actually has occurred in the intervening years since World War II ended. But I don’t want to talk about Leo as the comments thread is much more interesting than his original post. And I guess the moderator is on vacation because rusty’s comments haven’t been deleted, leaving a nonsensical half-a-thread in its wake. Nice to see some actual give and take. It’s all been pretty civil, except of course for tiredoflibbs. Good ol’ tired is nothing, if not consistent. Always the first–and in this case, the only poster–to resort to name calling. Attaboy, tired! Have a treat!

Regarding rusty’s point that the loss of Planned Parenthood clinics would, in many places, result in decreased family planning and contraceptive services, thereby leading to increased instances of pregnancies and abortions, one can look at the experience in Texas.

In 2011, Texas legislators excluded Planned Parenthood from taxpayer funding. The state has yet to make up for the loss.

The number of women served by clinics within the Texas Women’s Health Program dropped significantly between Fiscal Years 2011 and 2013, when the funding changes took effect. According to a Texas Health and Human Services Commission study, there was an average 25 percent drop statewide, with two of 11 HHSC regions reporting more than 50 percent drops.

As a result of this change, some Texas patients had trouble finding alternate sources of family planning and women’s health, in part because other providers in their area had not previously been providing specialized family planning services and had to first get expensive, time-consuming training in those areas.

“That high quality family planning is very difficult to integrate into primary care without specific programs to do that,” Dr. Janet Realini, the chair of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, a coalition of organizations working to assure access to preventive women’s care.

Realini did praise the state government, however, for “stepping up” and trying to compensate for the lost Medicaid funds.

Rep. Jim Keffer, a Republican state senator in Texas who worked on the defunding measures, also acknowledged that the state is still working to address lost provider capacity, including recently introducing a new website to help women access family planning programs.

“As Planned Parenthood has been going through their spiral here, we have been bolstering what Texas can offer through this other network,” Keffer said. “You can’t just close it off and wipe your hands of the situation because comprehensive women’s health care has to still be provided.”

A related issue is that some women might not go to a general practitioner — even one that introduced family planning into their practice — because they prefer going to a specialist.

“Some women prefer to go to dedicated family planning providers to get dedicated contraceptive services,” said Amanda Stevenson, a researcher at the University of Austin’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project working on the impact of excluding Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program in Texas.

Stevenson noted a 2013 review from the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health policy group, which found that women say they prefer going to specialists for this care because of “the respectful, confidential, affordable and high-quality care they receive from them.”

I know it’s hard for the Bob Eisenhowers of the world to believe, but according to those who have actually studied the situation, some women prefer going to dedicated family planning providers instead of their primary care physicians–assuming they have a primary care physician. But then Bob Eisenhower has probably never had to worry about his health care ever. In fact, it would not surprise me to find out that Bob was a life-long civil service employee like so many conservatives who can’t conceive of life without guaranteed health care. (At least, this is my direct experience with conservatives; their entire lifestyle–including their healthcare–has been funded on the taxpayer dime. I know some might view this as anecdotal, but apparently that is all it takes to make a definitive judgement about the entire lot of ’em.)

The other fact that Bob Eisenhower ignores is that 20 states–all of them governed by conservatives like Bob–rejected the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, leaving an estimated 6.5 million Americans still without health insurance, and mostly without access to healthcare except in dire emergencies. It’s simple to sit back in your easy chair and pontificate about how easy it is for anyone–anyone!–to access health care whenever they need it, but that’s just not the case. And either Bob Eisenhower knows this and is being a tad deceitful, or he is woefully ignorant.

Advertisements

So as public service to one and all, including our conservative followers (and you know who you are), I hereby present a few items that caught my attention this week.

First up, Zach Baron writes at GQ about his days hanging out at the Bundy Ranch when the second revolutionary war was fought against the dirty federal agents. My favorite part of the article:

“I will warn you,” Cooper says, when I ask where exactly I might find those latrines, “they’re kind of full.”

I wander out to them. The latrines are indeed kind of full. My eyes water with the smell of freedom.

Yes, the Bundy Ranch was full of shit. A good read, nevertheless.

Second, Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker takes a look at the recently unveiled platform of the Republican Party of Texas. “[M]ost everything Texan tends to be exaggerated,” writes Hertzberg, “But if you want a glimpse of what a nontrivial and apparently growing segment of one of America’s two great political parties believes in its heart of hearts, and what it says when it is essentially talking to itself—well, you’ve just been given one.”

We learn that the Texas Legislature should nullify—indeed, “ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify”—any old federal laws it doesn’t like. Unelected federal bureaucrats should all be eliminated because, you know, we don’t actually need to run the government. And of course, the favorite of outraged conservatives everywhere: All federal “enforcement activities” within the borders of Texas “must be conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county.” Because, as we all know, the county sheriff is the highest authority in the land.

We also learn that Republicans are deep, philosophical sorts. The platform includes this gem that will have you pondering the role of government in our lives for days:

Socialism breeds mediocrity. America is exceptional. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas opposes socialism in all of its forms.

There’s much more where that came from. This isn’t the work of a couple of crackpots in the deepest, darkest part of Texas: This is the official platform of the Republican Party of Texas. Apparently, this nontrivial and growing segment of America is batshit crazy, and felt the need to put it in writing.

And finally, thirty-nine years ago this weekend the movie Jaws became a summer blockbuster. In honor of that, Mother Jones has a chat between Emily Dreyfuss and Ben Dreyfuss, the children of actor Richard Dreyfuss, who portrayed Hooper (or is it Hopper? Even his children get confused.) A fun read leading into a holiday weekend.

Happy Fourth everyone!