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Romney Surrogate Once Condemned His Veto Of Women's Health Care Funding

WASHINGTON — Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, in an obvious panic over the ever-increasing gender gap, today sent out numerous statements from female supporters. In their haste, though, it appears they looked over some crucial details. Reps. McMorris Rodgers and Bono Mack are flawed messengers on women’s issues because they both opposed the wildly popular Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

The campaign then sent out a statement from Kerry Healey, who served as Lieutenant Governor while Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, insisting Romney would be good for women. Again, the campaign walked in to trouble.

While in office, Lt. Gov. Healey publicly condemned Romney for vetoing spending for women’s health, including breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment, calling the move: “penny-wise, pound-foolish.”

American Bridge president Rodell Mollineau said, “If even Romney’s women surrogates have a history of criticizing his record on women’s health, he’ll soon find out that no amount of press releases will make up for a lifetime of supporting policies that hurt women.”

Previously, Romney came under fire for his opposition to Komen for the Cure funding similar preventative care programs through Planned Parenthood, his vow to “get rid of Planned Parenthood” altogether, and his support of Sen. Roy Blunt’s amendment that would give a woman’s boss veto power over her health choices.

BACKGROUND

HEALEY WARNED ROMNEY AGAINST CUTTING PROGRAMS LIKE BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND SCREENING

Romney Admitted Lt. Gov. Healey Cautioned Him Against Cutting Preventative Programs. According to a Boston Herald Opinion Column, “Take the reductions in various preventive-illness programs, from breast cancer research and screening to AIDS screening and teen-pregnancy prevention, and the $10 million stripped from anti-smoking programs. Even Romney admitted, at a town meeting in Leominster on Thursday, that Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey had cautioned him that cutting a preventive program likely to save heavy medical costs in the long run seemed ‘penny-wise, pound-foolish.’ He said something had to go when the state’s well was dry.” [The Boston Herald, Wayne Woodlief Opinion Column, 2/2/03]

ROMNEY VETOED FUNDS FOR CANCER TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

Romney Ended All Funding For A Cervical And Breast Cancer Program. According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “Romney also trimmed funding to dozens of other state programs, from the end of all funding for a cervical and breast cancer program to a $10 million cut from kindergarten expansion grants, to the elimination of a $5 million water and sewer rate relief program and $750,000 for zoos.” [The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 6/30/03]

· FY04: Romney Vetoed $2,784,551 For Cervical And Breast Cancer Benefits – The Legislature Unanimously Overrode. Romney vetoed “$2,784,551 for cervical/breast cancer benefits.” The House overrode Romney’s veto 157 to 0. The Senate overrode Romney’s veto 40 to 0. [Romney Veto Statement, House No. 4005, 6/30/03; Senate Journal, 7/17/03; House Journal, 7/16/03]

· FY04: Romney Vetoed $35,678 For Early Breast Cancer Detection & Research – The Legislature Overrode.  Romney reduced funding for early breast cancer detection & research by $35,678. The Senate overrode the reduction 39 to 1. The House voted to amend Romney’s reduction, 142 to 15. [Romney Veto Statement, House No. 4005, 6/30/03; Senate Journal, 7/16/03; House Journal, 7/16/03]

· FY04 Budget Appropriated Funds For Women Who Require Medical Treatment For Breast Or Cervical Cancer. According to House No. 4004 of 2003, Line Item 4000-0875 appropriated $2,784,551, “For the provision of benefits to eligible women who require medical treatment for either breast or cervical cancer in accordance with…the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000…provided, that the division shall seek to obtain federal approval to limit the provision of said benefits to women whose income…does not exceed 250 per cent of the federal poverty level…that eligibility for such benefits shall be extended solely for the duration of such cancerous condition; provided further, that prior to the provision of any benefits covered by this item, said division shall require screening for either breast or cervical cancer at the comprehensive breast and cervical cancer early detection program operated by the department of public health.” [House No. 4004, 6/20/03]

· FY04 Budget Appropriated Funds For An Early Breast Cancer Detection Program And Mammograms For The Uninsured. According to House No. 4004 of 2003, Line Item 4570-1500 appropriated $3,029,488 “For an early breast cancer detection program, mammographies for the uninsured, and a breast cancer detection public awareness program.” [House No. 4004, 6/20/03]

Romney Vetoed $2.8 Million For Cervical And Breast Cancer Treatment. According to Lowell Sun, “Romney vetoed the entire $2.8 million earmark for cervical and breast cancer treatment, cut $6.6 million a little more than half from a program to counsel first-time mothers under 21. He also cut the entire $654,942 account for gambling treatment, eliminated $1 million in funds for prostate cancer prevention.” [Lowell Sun, 7/1/03]