When the Ryan/Republican Budget Club gets together, it's NO GIRLS ALLOWED:
During a recent trip to New York, Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu and Patty Murray lamented one aspect of the U.S. deficit talks that they say may cloud the outcome: No women lawmakers have been at the table.It's been called Ryan's war on women. More from Bloomberg:
It’s a concern shared by some female colleagues, who say programs that disproportionately serve women and children are at risk in negotiations over where to cut federal spending. Several of the programs were targeted by Representative Paul Ryan in a budget that passed the U.S. House in April and which he and many other Republicans see as a road map for shrinking the government.
The budget called for reductions in food stamps, two-thirds of whose adult recipients are women; Pell grants, about two- thirds of which go to female college students; Medicaid, about 70 percent of whose beneficiaries are female, and child care. This month, House Republicans voted to cut nutritional aid to low-income pregnant women by about 12 percent....
The Republican budget also called for reducing Medicaid spending by more than $700 billion over the next decade by converting the program into block grants to the states. Twice as many females as males benefit from the insurance system for low- income Americans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Medicaid is generally restricted to poor children, pregnant women, parents of dependent children, the disabled and those 65 and older. In 2003, seven of the top 10 hospital services billed to the program were maternity-related, Kaiser says, including cesarean sections, fetal monitoring and labor inductions.
Another $127 billion in savings in the Ryan budget would come from food stamps.
“When women are at the table, the debate changes,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat. “We bring to whatever the discussion is the experiences we’ve had as women, and they’re different than men.”
The House budget would convert Medicare to a voucher program in 2022, when the government would start providing a set amount of funds for purchasing private insurance. Women make up 56 percent of Medicare recipients, and they are more reliant on the program’s system of defined benefits because they have more chronic health conditions and live an average of about five years longer than men, according to the Census Bureau.
Under the Ryan plan, “if there’s a health catastrophe, “you’re on your own,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the Washington-based National Organization for Women. Many women “have no savings, no ability to pay for this.”