In his budget bill, Congressman Rehberg eagerly attacks important sources of savings, starting with disease and cancer prevention. Montana public health experts write in the Missoulian this week that:
Prevention costs less than trying to cure people who are already sick. According to the Trust for America’s health, every $1 spent on prevention services saves $5.60. Every $1 spent on childhood vaccines saves $16.50.
One would think that the power to curb disease while cutting costs would appeal to any thinking individual. However, that’s not what we’re dealing with here. And unless Rehberg has received an honorary doctorate from some backwater, unaccredited Bible college, I don’t think we can call him a “doctor.”
Another big cost saver Rehberg wants to take out is family planning. Every dollar spent on family planning saves four dollars of taxpayer funds. That’s because cost of covering a Medicaid-funded birth, is $13,000, according to a May 2010 Guttmacher Institute study. That’s way more than it costs to providing birth control to low-income women in need, which averages only $250 bucks per client per year.
The government spends about $300 million a year on the Title X program, but in 2008 alone, it saved the country $3.4 billion dollars in return.
But Rehberg doesn’t stop with killing cost savers. He’s reinstating proven money wasters like “abstinence only” until marriage education programs. (Never mind that the average age of marriage is 29.) The federal government’s own studies have proven that abstinence only until marriage programs don’t work. Yet this stuff is still pushed by Congressional chastity champs like Rep. Dennis Rehberg and of course Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), a longtime patron of prostitutes.
Rehberg’s entire campaign is designed to convince you that he really, really cares about saving money. But his own proposals don’t do that, as others have pointed out. They’re just the same old Republican ploys to force their religious fundamentalism on you–cost savings be damned.