Washington (CNN)Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price said the new Republican health care legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare increases funding for women’s health services, while defunding Planned Parenthood.
During a CNN town hall with the secretary, an audience member named Katie Needle told Price she would be “devastated” if Planned Parenthood were defunded. Needle asked how low-income women could continue receiving health care services if the organization they depend on is defunded through the Republican legislation.
Price responded that the bill has tried to address widespread concerns about federal tax dollars being used to perform abortion services at Planned Parenthood. He also promised that the GOP legislation would “increase money for women’s health services.”
In order to increase money for women’s health services, Price said the bill aims to fund more than 13,000 community health centers he says offer the services that women would need.
In response, CNN’s Dana Bash asked Price why, if the Hyde Amendment has been in place since 1977 and prohibits federal taxpayer dollars from funding abortions, funds would need to be cut from Planned Parenthood and the other services it offers.
After applause from the audience died down, Price said that taxpayer money is “fungible” and he has a responsibility to respond to the majority of American people whom he said do not want their tax dollars funding abortions.