Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rep Joe Crowley Warns Slashing Title X Will Hurt Families, Women, Economy

Today, Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) spoke out against Republicans’ efforts to eliminate federal funding for Title X of the Public Health Service Act in the Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1), a move that would deny over five million low-income Americans access to critical health services. Title X helps clinics provide high-quality and affordable preventative health services, including cancer screenings, immunizations, contraception, prenatal care and a range of women’s health services. Crowley, a staunch supporter of the program, leads the yearly charge to increase funding for Title X.

Below are Congressman Crowley’s remarks from the House floor as submitted:

“I rise today in support of the Title X program, which is a critical health program to serve low-income women and men. Unfortunately, the bill before us today would eliminate funding for this program, denying over five million patients the services they need and have trouble affording elsewhere.

“My colleagues on the other side of the aisle may try to say this is just about spending – but the result is an attack on health services for low-income Americans.

“The Title X program provides funds to over 4,500 clinics in all 50 states. These clinics provide a wide variety of preventive health services to women and men – such as screenings for breast and cervical cancer, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, and providing prenatal care to ensure healthy babies and mothers. And, they provide contraceptive services to enable women and men to plan for their futures, resulting in better health outcomes for all.

“For many low-income patients, these clinics are their only access to low-cost preventive health services.

“The Republicans’ resolution is an attack on low-income patients and the health care they rely on.

“How many cases of breast cancer will go undetected as a result of this cut? How many men will forgo testing for prostate cancer? How many sexually transmitted diseases will go undiagnosed and untreated? How many babies will be born with health problems, such as low birth weight, because their mothers were unable to get the prenatal care they need?

“These questions aren't just hypothetical - study after study has shown the benefits of Title X and how we would suffer without this program.

“For example, without Title X, unintended teen pregnancies would increase by 60 percent each year - an additional 390,000 teenage girls getting pregnant because they had no more access to low-cost contraceptives.

“Is that what we want?

“This isn't just about spending - if it were, my colleagues would recognize that the Title X program saves nearly 4 dollars in Medicaid costs for every dollar spent. They would also recognize that in just one year, the services provided by Title X clinics saved state and federal governments $3.4 billion.

“And yet we're cutting the $317 million this program gets – that’s right, million, when the benefit is in the billions!

“What we should be doing is strengthening this program and others like it, not gutting it.
“We will all be paying for the results of this cut down the road.”

Congressman Crowley is the seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He serves a Chief Deputy Whip in the House of Representatives and is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.