We cannot catch a break with Jan Brewer! Her hits just keep coming! Earlier this month we shared The 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Jan Brewer. Well, the list continues to grow. Last week we found out that her AHCCCS funding cuts are having far-reaching negative consequences beyond denying transplant patients lifesaving care; the cuts also eliminate well-woman care, including the vital cancer prevention care and birth control access provided to women through an annual gynecological exam.
Planned Parenthood and all medical providers who accept AHCCCS are wondering how we will serve our patients so we can help women stay healthy and assist in early detection of cancers like cervical cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. This decision will also cost Arizona an additional $15 million of federal Medicaid funding as a direct result of the elimination of these vital services.
Thanks to Jan Brewer and a majority of state legislators, low income women in Arizona can no longer receive these services! Women make up 70 percent of adults on the Medicaid program – that is more than 900,000 Arizona women who can longer access this care. Essentially, Jan Brewer and many in the legislature have cut out prevention care for low-income women. Check out what Planned Parenthood Arizona CEO Bryan Howard told the Public Service News about the funding cuts:
Howard says a typical well-woman exam costs around $120, making it unaffordable for most AHCCCS recipients, who live on less than $1,000 a month.
Without the annual exams, Howard predicts that the eventual cost to taxpayers will be much higher, whether it’s for prenatal care and delivery of a baby a woman would have preferred to postpone, or dealing with a life-threatening disease.
“Treatment of cervical cancer, treatment of a breast mass, or breast cancer. Treatment is invariably much more expensive than the prevention.”
Make sure you cast your ballot for candidates who will protect women’s health care access. Visit www.advocatesaz.org and view our endorsed candidates and see our 2010 Voter Guide. All of our endorsed candidates have made a commitment to protect women’s health care access in Arizona!