Other Voices: Does Rep. Doolittle support our children?
Rep. John Doolittle is very concerned about unborn children, he has voted to restrict the right to terminate a pregnancy at every opportunity. This reverence for the unborn life is laudable, but does this same reverence apply to children already living?
Let’s look at the cuts in the latest budget passed by Congress and that Mr. Doolittle enthusiastically voted for and who will be affected. About $6.4 billion of the entitlement cuts would come from Medicare, $4.8 billion from Medicaid, $3 billion from child-support collection. Cuts along with increases in loan interest rates in student loan programs yield a net savings of $11.9 billion.
Medicaid is for the poorest people in this country and children make up 35 percent of the poor. Medicaid costs are transferred to the poor in the form of increased cost for drugs and higher co-payments for medical services. Estimates are that these changes will eliminate 255,000 people from the Medicaid system.
Cuts in child-support collection include $527 million in direct cuts to foster care along with cuts to programs that enforce payment from deadbeat dads. Currently, there is an estimated 523,000 children in foster care with more than 119,000 waiting for adoption.
Here we have a crisis in unwanted children for any number of reasons yet Mr. Doolittle wants to force pregnant women that are unable to care for that child to have the baby. The logic of this philosophy is hard to reconcile until one considers a fundamental rule – money.
It costs nothing in dollars for Mr. Doolittle to robustly and ideologically support anti-abortion measures but he gains a bunch in the “family values” line. To actually support the baby once it exists costs a lot in dollars, so the best approach is to never mention such dirty words as foster care (aka. unwanted children) or discuss child-care programs necessary because most unplanned for children are born to poverty-stricken single mothers.
Oh, and Congress is now considering the Tax Reform bill with massive cuts that will mostly benefit the wealthiest 10 percent of American society and will make moot the cuts in the last budget bill that mostly affect the poorest 10 percent of American society. Now that is ‘family values’ in perspective.
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