August 11, 2017
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – With the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress working to undercut family planning and other preventive health care services, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has unveiled a new report that breaks down for the first time the significance of Title X National Family Planning Program funding to New York City.
Title X is the only federal program that provides dedicated funding for family planning and related preventative health services. The program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), supports a range of services, including cancer screenings (including cervical and breast), pregnancy testing, contraceptive counseling and services, pelvic exams, sexually transmitted disease testing, and infertility services along with health education and referrals for health and social services.
Using data compiled from organizations that directly receive Title X funds, the report quantifies the impact of Title X funding in New York City. Specifically, the report finds that between 2012 and 2015:
22 NYC health care providers received a total of $27.3 million in funds or almost $7 million annually.
On average, Title X funds supported the care of 148,000 New Yorkers each year, many of them low-income women without health insurance.
10 NYC Health + Hospitals sites collectively received over $3 million in Title X funding that supported the care of over 30,000 New Yorkers each year. In 2017, NYC Health + Hospitals reports that it will receive $1.3 million in federal Title X funds.
- Title X funded services predominately benefit low-income and uninsured or under-insured individuals regardless of immigration status, many of whom, in the absence of these services, would lack access to health care services at all. According to federal data, in 2015 across New York State:
- 91 percent of clients served were women;
- 60 percent had incomes at or below the poverty line; and
- 32 percent lacked health insurance.
In addition, services funded by Title X are particularly critical for women in New York City between the ages of 18-34, who make up close to two-thirds of all users of family planning services supported by Title X funding and are uninsured at higher rates than women overall.
“Gutting Title X could have a catastrophic impact on New Yorkers who rely on this funding for health care. Leaving people uninsured, denying Americans cancer screenings, and putting medical care out of reach – all of it is totally backward. It’s reckless, it’s cruel, and it will lead to suffering,” Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “These are essential services that are becoming the latest victim of Washington’s assault on common-sense. If Washington pulls the plug on these funds, those most in need will be hit the hardest. These policies are from a playbook from another century.”
The Title X program is a critical component of our nation’s health care system. In 2015, Title X programs helped provide an array of important, life-saving services, including 1 million breast exams, 750,000 pap tests, almost 5 million sexually transmitted disease tests and over 1 million HIV tests. In addition, research from the Guttmacher Institute found these type of services helped avert an estimated 822,000 unintended pregnancies, preventing close to 278,000 abortions and 387,000 unplanned births. Additional research has documented that this type of public investment in family planning programs reduces the need for more costly forms of health care, saving taxpayers as much as $7.09 for every public dollar spent.
Despite these benefits, numerous proposals being advanced by the White House and Congressional Republicans would decimate health care programs that support family planning services, including the Title X program in particular. Specifically, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee recently proposed cutting all Title X funding even as overall funding for the program has dropped in the last decade.
“We can’t allow Washington to turn back the clock on family planning services because of backward ideology,” Comptroller Stringer said. “If we’re going to be a society that leaves no one behind, then we can’t allow women to be singled out and denied health care to satisfy an ideologically-driven fever-dream. The health of New Yorkers and all Americans should be above politics.”