If Republicans Are Worried About Wasteful Government Programs….

Ken AshfordHealth Care, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

… and that's why they supposedly oppose the public option, then why are they throwing money at government programs that don't work?

That's right.  The Senate Finance Committee yesterday rejected two amendments to its health bill which would have added the public option.  But what amendment did the Republicans and Blue Dog Dems vote forProviding more money to abstience education programs:

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday night approved an amendment providing tens of millions of dollars to fund abstinence education programs for teens.

The proposal, offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), would provide $50 million per year through 2014 exclusively for abstinence education programs. The measure would effectively reinstate the controversial Title V program, which offered $50 million per year to states for abstinence education, but prohibited them from tapping the funds for other sex-ed subjects like contraception. The same prohibition would accompany the Hatch amendment. “Abstinence education works,” the Utah Republican said.

The vote was 12 to 11, with Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.) voting with every Republican to secure passage of the measure.

Hatch, defending the truly ridiculous government spending, said, "Abstinence education works."

No, Orrin.  It doesn't. 

The facts have been stubborn on this. The nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that abstinence programs do not affect teenager sexual behavior. A congressionally-mandated study, which was not only comprehensive but also included long-term follow-up, found the exact same thing. Researchers keep conducting studies, and the results are always the same.

Whatever merits one hopes abstience-only education possesses, the bottom line is this: IT DOESN'T WORK.  Yet, the Republicans want to fund it anyway, at the expense — and as part of — a healthcare reform bill intended to bring low-cost affordable health care to everybody.