President Barack Obama has signaled he will not go to bat for birth control in the economic stimulus bill — a move likely to set off a firestorm among powerful forces in the Democratic Party.That the Republicans can publicly denounce health care as not being relevant to the economy is just one more symptom of the paucity of our national dialogue. What the bleeding hell is an economy if it doesn't include the health care sector?
Obama has asked House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) to strip a plan to extend birth control coverage under Medicaid from the stimulus package, the Associated Press reports. The plea comes as Obama courts Republican support for the $825 billion package, for which he wants to see strong bi-partisan backing.
Republicans are up-in-arms over the family planning provision, calling it a wasteful giveaway that will not stimulate the economy. They claim it is an attempt by Democrats to push through their expansion of health care agenda — via an unrelated bill.