Republicans in the state Assembly have advanced a bill requiring providers to bill Medicaid only for the actual acquisition costs and dispensing fees for birth control drugs. The measure, which passed Thursday on a 61-35 vote, is now ready for Governor Scott Walker’s signature.
GOP Representative Andre Jacque (R-DePere) insisted during Thursday’s floor debate that the legislation does not prohibit access to birth control. “But it is something that interfaces very well with the modus operandi of Planned Parenthood nationally, which is to bilk taxpayers out of more and more dollars, where they operate at tremendous profit,” Jacque said.
The change would cost Planned Parenthood an estimated $4.5 half million per year, and Democrats charge it will restrict access — in keeping with Republican goals. This is Madison Representative Chris Taylor
“This bill is a very targeted attempt to limit women’s access to birth control,” said Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison), adding that Jacque has voiced opposition to birth control on numerous occasions. “Policy after policy that we see in this body is aimed at rolling back access to birth control. The result is increasing the unintended pregnancy rate, and increasing the abortion rate.”
Landlords could be the judges for criminal activity in their units, under another measure passed by the Assembly on Thursday. Supporters say landlords could remove tenants who pose dangers to other tenants. But opponents say the building owners would not have to prove such harm, and there’s no indication of how serious the offenses would have to be.
Representative Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton), cited the hypothetical where a domestic abuse victim could end up on the street because of actions by an abuser. “They don’t actually need to be convicted or charged with anything under this bill. A neighbor or a landlord could just say that they were engaged in this, and all of a sudden they have five days to be out of their home, with their children and their belongs.”
The bill, from Representative Robert Brooks (R-Saukville), passed on a 60-31 vote and now is ready for action by the state Senate.