The Ravalli County Commissioners seem to have only one thing on their minds and they are at it again this week.
The world class thinkers voted to refuse free federal funds for breast and cervical cancer screening, saying the “social costs” of such screenings were “more of a liability than the benefits are worth.”
The gist of the story is that the Ravalli County commissioners, in a questionably legal move, extended a noticed meeting on Thursday to a non-noticed meeting on Friday when they voted, three to two to refuse Title X funding for the county health department’s family planning clinic.
Why the attempt at secrecy you ask? Some time ago, the county commission had also tried to refuse family planning money from the state legislature. Just like today, the money would have covered things like cervical cancer screening and support for poor families to be able to afford birth control so that they could decide when to have children or exercise the personal responsibility to wait to have another child until their finances can sustain the additional family member without public assistance. (Though not abortions, which the Ravalli county health clinic does not even provide–and federal law prohibits this money from being used for abortions anyway). But cervical cancer screenings and the like are anathema to the pro-abstinence, anti-choice crowd. So the right wing imbeciles of the Republican party of Ravalli, proudly advocated that the commission refuse the state funding for its county health center.
But as with most things right-wing Republicans do, it backfired. Local leaders were angry about the effort to reject the money, and so the commission was forced to capitulate. Family planning saves taxpayer dollars, and cancer screening saves lives and the county ended up taking the money.
That was then–these Commissioners are quite a crew-even more right-wing than their predecessors. Jeff Burrows was found to be the administrator of a conspiracy theory blog. Suzy Foss wrote an op-ed detailing the commissions incompetence in dealing with their own budgets and has complained the public involvement in public decisions “ticks her off.” Politicians exist in their job for only a few purposes, one of which is to listen to constituents. Commissioners Jeff Burrows, Suzy Foss, and Ron Stoltz should keep this in mind.