Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) was asked last night during a CNN town hall about his comment last week that the budget reconciliation legislation would include a provision to reallocate taxpayer funding from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood to comprehensive health care centers.
His response was spot on.
Audience member: My question for you Speaker Ryan is if Planned Parenthood is defunded then were will millions of women, low income groups, people like myself (get screenings, etc.)
Speaker Ryan: First of all I want to make sure that you get the care you need. I want to make sure all women get the kind of care that they need – preventative screening and services like what you are talking about.
We believe this can better be done by putting that money into federal community health centers. Federal community health centers, I have a lot of experience with them myself, they’re all throughout Wisconsin, they are virtually in every community. By putting these dollars into a federally community health center, which provide the same kind of services, for every Planned Parenthood there are 20 federal community health centers. They are vastly bigger in network. There are so many more of them, and they provide these kinds of services without all of the controversy surrounding this issue.
Moderator Jake Tapper: Can I just ask you, you believe in having more choice for people when it comes to health insurance, except for Planned Parenthood?
Ryan: Well there’s a long standing principle that we’ve all believed in, and by the way this is for pro-choice and pro-life people, we don’t want to commit taxpayer money for abortion and Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider. So we don’t want to effectively commit taxpayer money to an organization that provides abortions, but we want to make sure people get their coverage. That is why there is no conflict making sure these dollars go to federal community health centers which provide these services and have a vast larger network than these Planned Parenthood clinics which are surrounded by a lot of controversy. And we don’t want commit people’s taxpayer dollars to effectively fund something they believe is morally unconscionable. Not everybody believes that, I understand that, but it is a long-standing principle in this country that we want to maintain.
Tapper: Of course, taxpayer dollars don’t fund abortions right now, because of the Hyde Amendment right?
Ryan: Because of the Hyde Amendment right, but they get a lot of money, and money is fungible and it effectively floats these organizations which then use other money. Money is fungible. You don’t have this controversy by funding health centers.
Money is fungible. I don’t want my taxpayer money to pay for even their paper clips. Money they don’t have to spend elsewhere means more money to expand their abortion services.
Here’s the video: