The health-care bill passed by the House brought Republicans closer to their goal of erasing Obamacare from the books. But it also revived another long- cherished aspiration: cutting off the flow of federal funds to Planned Parenthood.
A provision in the bill temporarily blocks the 100-year-old nonprofit women’s health organization and abortion provider from participating in the Medicaid program. If enacted, it would deal a devastating blow to an organization that provides reproductive services and other health care to 2.5 million people annually.
It is far from certain that the measure will become law, as it must still pass the Senate, where both the Planned Parenthood provision and the larger bill are likely to encounter stiffer political and procedural obstacles. The American Civil Liberties Union also has threatened legal action to prevent such a law from taking root.
But it represents a significant, initial victory for conservatives who have long sought to undercut the country’s largest abortion provider and who had extracted a promise from President Trump during his campaign that he would sign a bill defunding Planned Parenthood.
The twin achievements led conservatives to call the day historic.
“Today is a day that should and will be remembered,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said in a statement. “The House GOP today fulfilled its nearly decade-old promise to pass a bill that replaces Obamacare with a law that is pro-life and reduces premium costs for the American people.”