Planned Parenthood (“PP”) for years has used the media and fraud to bring in clients when those women could have gone to a family doctor or OB/Gyn. Below are three ways to find a local doctor who participates with the Women’s Health Program in Texas.
As a woman doctor, mother and grandmother from Texas, I support Governor Perry in his support of the law, passed once again by the Texas Legislature last summer, that prohibits any of our tax funds going to any “affiliate” of abortionists. Senate Bill 7, the huge law covering Texas medical financing, was passed in the Special Session of the 82nd Legislature and renewed a State prohibition on any Texas Medicaid funds going to “perform or promote elective abortions, or to contract with entities that perform or promote elective abortions or affiliate with entities that perform or promote elective abortions.” (See page 91.)
The Obama administration and countless media and op-ed articles would have us all believe that the law is new, but it’s not. The original Women’s Health Program (“WHP”) was created in 2005 and received a 5 year waiver from the Bush Administration in 2006, as finalized in these documents from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. All of these facts are outlined in the Complaint filed by Attorney General Greg Abbott in his lawsuit against Kathleen Sebelius and Obama’s Health and Human Services:
11.From the outset of the Women’s Health Program, the Texas Legislature has explicitly prohibited taxpayer funds from going to entities that perform or promote elective abortions. The Legislature also prohibited taxpayer dollars from funding affiliates of entities that perform or promote elective abortions. See id. § 32.0248(h) (“The department shall ensure that the money spent under the demonstration project, regardless of the funding source, is not used to perform or promote elective abortions. The department, for the purpose of the demonstration project, may not contract with entities that perform or promote elective abortions or are affiliates of entities that perform or promote elective abortions.”).
Read the next few paragraphs of the Complaint for comments on dates and on approval of the waiver without restrictions on Texas’ prohibition on abortion providers. Please note that the waiver was requested in December, 2005, and approved in December, 2006, for a period of 5 years, to end December 31, 2011. It is not true, as reported by a spokesperson for Secretary Sebelius, that the waiver was denied.
Texas law prohibited State funds from going to any provider who performed or referred to elective abortions beginning in 2003. Under a provision known as “Rider 8,” the State began requiring recipients of Medicaid and Family Planning money to sign an affidavit that they did not perform or refer for elective abortions. Texas won when PP challenged Rider 8 in Federal Court. The various PP sub-corporations in the State then set up separate corporations for the “medical affiliates” that were not licensed to perform abortions and the “surgical affiliates” that did perform elective abortions. These were shams, as all of the corporations came under the direction of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and some even shared buildings and staff. It turned out that 4 of the facilities run by the PP Trust of San Antonio and South Texas didn’t even bother with the sham. They were found to be illegally performing medical abortions, and were fined and shut down in 2009 as unlicensed abortion clinics and for fraudulently billing Medicaid.
- There are more than 2,500 qualified providers in the WHP.
Planned Parenthood represents less than two percent of providers in the WHP.
- Planned Parenthood’s cost per client is 43 percent higher than most other providers, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
- In FY 2010, nearly 80 percent of women served received WHP services from non Planned Parenthood providers.
What did happen is that last year, Attorney General defined “affiliates.” Logically, subsidiaries of a given corporation, such as all the “medical affiliates” of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, are “affiliates” of that corporation.
PP and their supporters would have us believe that hundreds of thousands of women will go without care because of the Texas law. On the contrary, those affiliates were easily replaced. Thousands of qualified doctors and clinics already participate with the Women’s Health Program in Texas.
And there are several ways to find one of the qualified providers for the Women’s Health Program in your town:
In Texas, we have “2-1-1,” a State services telephone information line. You can call 2-1-1 from any phone to find all sorts of assistance in your area, including doctors who participate with the WHP. I’ve heard that this may not be the most up to date or complete list, however.
Texas Tribune published an interactive map that highlights the color coded stark reality of the differences in numbers and in the distribution of PP versus the many doctors who currently participate with the Women’s Health Program. Notice that Planned Parenthood only shows up where there are lots of other providers. Where there aren’t many doctors, there are definitely no PP facilities.
For the most accurate and largest number of WHP qualified doctors and clinics in your area, Texas’ Department of Health and Human Services has a search engine available here. Use the “Advanced Search,” then choose Plan type:”Traditional Medicaid,” Provider type: “Specialist” (although this will actually bring up family physicians and other primary care docs), and Waiver type: “Women’s Health Program.” You can search by County or by Zip Code.
Hopefully this information will help you answer the critics of Texas, our Legislature, Commissioner of Texas’ Health and Human Service Suehs, and our Governor Perry.
We used to call it a “Mexican standoff,” but that could be considered bigoted these days. Or at least non-PC.
“Obama Standoff” is a better description for a specific condition – one that’s becoming more common and hitting us more frequently. In the “Obama Standoff,” the Obama administration demands that Texas, some other State, or any individual or organization of individuals with a conscience, violate their own laws, Constitution, or conscience – threatening to withhold Federal tax money, fine, or break that law himself if others don’t comply.
Unbelievably, Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius visited Houston today and announced – on the Friday before the funding for Texas’ Women’s Health Program expires on Wednesday, March 14 – that she is going to deny renewal of the Medicaid waiver. She did this *before* notifying the State or the Commissioner! See the Governor’s announcement in response, here. http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/17025/ )
The Obama Administration doesn’t even care that there will be no meeting of the Texas Legislature until January 2013. Of course, this is the Constitutional scholar in the White House who ignored the meaning of “recess appointment” in January. Why should he honor concepts like the Legislature makes laws and the Executive Branch must follow them?
It doesn’t matter that Texas has had the same law for 10 years any more than it matters that the Catholic Church has opposed contraception for thousands of years. It doesn’t matter that physicians have defended the right to follow their consciences for 2500 years, since Hippocrates’ oath was adopted by the Profession.
Why should they? They don’t care that the First Amendment guarantees the free expression of religion — to “establishments of religion,” by the way!
In a particularly unconscionable moment, one Obama Administration official told representatives of religious organizations that they had a year to reconcile – with Obama, not with God.
And they certainly don’t understand, much less care, what a “conscience” is other than some roadblock in their goal to control and force every doctor to be complicit with ending human life – or at least make sure to move next door to someone who will.
To paraphrase C. S. Lewis: We laugh at honor and are surprised to find treachery among us.
Governor Rick Perry is pushing back against the Obama Administration’s threat to kill our Texas Women’s Health Program due to law passed by the Legislature last June. The Governor’s office has produced 4 new videos (one of which includes me) explaining that the State is prepared to ensure that women are able to access continuing comprehensive care under these programs.
If you only have time for one, watch Carol Everett’s video in which she relates that the Commissioner of Health and Human Services has identified 2500 doctors willing to participate with the Well Woman Program and Texas’ Family Planning, even in rural areas where there has never been a Planned Parenthood clinic. There are also videos from former Waco PP Executive Director Abby Johnson, Texas Alliance for Life’s Executive Director Joe Pojman, Ph.D., and me.
The videos can be viewed at the Governor’s YouTube page and via the Office of the Governor website. They are the beginning of a series of announcements and news releases in hopes of convincing the Obama Administration and Secretary Sebelius to preserve these programs. Time is short as the current Medicaid waiver is due to expire at the end of March.
Stop and think about it: What the media is reporting as a single crisis is really the effect of two separate events. One is the cut in funding to Family Planning that went into effect in October, along with many other cuts that were made in order to balance the State budget according to the Texas Constitution while paying for Medicaid for children and education. The second is what is happening in a few clinics that are partners with other clinics that do abortions and are panicking because they are about to lose State funds.
Where are the reports about the thousands of providers who have agreed to see patients under both these programs?
The media is also acting as though the law prohibiting anyone who performs or refers to abortions, or who is a business partner with an abortion provider is brand new or that the Governor got up one morning and changed the law. No, the House and Senate of the 82nd Texas Legislature deliberated for months on Medicaid funding, including the best way to provide care under the Family Planning Title X funds and the Medicaid funded Women’s Health Program. They continued the old prohibition on funding affiliates.
The only change is that the Attorney General has clarified that “affiliates” include organizations that are part of the same national corporation.
The media and President Obama also ignore that the legislature won’t meet until January, 2013, so there is no way to change the law that appropriates State Tax funds.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you: I was nervous as I could be and I spent too much time giving a list of my credentials. But if you’re brave, here’s my video.
Governor Rick Perry wrote an Editorial about the refusal of the Medicaid waiver for our Women’s Health Program by the Obama Administration. While it appears that very few news organizations actually print the op-ed, many have published their own, and a few reference the Governor’s essay. (A search at Google News on “Women’s Health Program” yields about 100 media posts, more blogs.)
Once again, the comments from the media and readers are derogatory, don’t contain the facts, and very critical of all of us “anti-abortion idiots” (per one commenter at Texas Tribune).
Texas has had law limiting the distribution of Medicaid and the Woman’s Health Program funds to those who perform, refer to, or affiliate with abortion providers for years, and received waivers in the past – even from this Administration – under this law.
The real difference is that this year, the Legislature prioritized funds to providers who provide comprehensive, continuing care at Federal, State, local, and County health clinics.
Yes, there was a renewal of the ban on abortion providers, although PP itself was never mentioned. And, yes, the Attorney General has clarified the meaning of “affiliate.”
However, while a nice side benefit, PP wasn’t excluded because they are PP. They were excluded because the State had to prioritize our funds and PP doesn’t offer comprehensive continuing care. They don’t treat high blood pressure, but Federally Qualified Health Centers do. They don’t treat diabetes, but the health clinic run by the county does. They don’t even write orders for mammograms, they just have a list of clinics that do.
In the last few months, the State has already made contracts and arrangements with other providers for a more efficient use of the limited funds we have. If access is cut, it won’t be for a lack of doctors and clinics – it will be because the Obama Administration doesn’t like the way our Legislature decided to prioritize the funds.
There is no federal law that says that Texas has to make contracts with anyone and everyone. As pointed out by the Governor and in this fantastic letter from the Executive Commissioner of the State Department of Human Services, Tom Suehs, the Social Security Act specifically gives the right to the State Legislatures set preconditions for contracting with the State to provide Medicaid.
Since PP only provides a narrow range of care, they don’t qualify – even though they aren’t mentioned in the law. They don’t treat high blood pressure or diabetes, or even do mammograms.
However, the Obama admin – and all those hateful commenters and editorializers – choose to focus on only one “provider.” The same organization that had 4 illegal abortion clinics shut down in San Antonio. The one that gives directions to facilities that do mammograms, but doesn’t even write prescriptions or give orders for the mammogram lab. The one that Texas is finding surprisingly easy to replace.
Now, our limited State tax dollars will go to Women’s Health Program doctors and clinics where they can receive treatment after being screened.
An op-ed by Joe Pojman, PhD, the Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life, which discusses who is really to “blame” if the Texas Women’s Health Program is cut because we lose our Federal funds. (I’m privileged to be on the Board of Directors of TAL.)
Last June the Texas Legislature overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 7, which allows for the renewal of the WHP, on a Senate vote of 21-9 and a House vote of 96-48. The bill prohibits the state from contracting with entities that “perform or promote elective abortions or affiliate with entities that perform or promote elective abortions.”
Federal law allows Texas to exclude Planned Parenthood. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion declaring that federal law allows states to exclude abortion providers and their affiliated organizations from Medicaid.
There are ample alternate WHP providers in Texas who are not involved in abortion. These physicians and clinics typically offer comprehensive primary and preventative care in addition to family planning. These providers could become the medical home for low-income women. The Obama Administration is about to deny WHP funds to these quality providers, and to the women they serve, just because Texas wants to fund these without funding Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood is a poor investment of public funds. Planned Parenthood offers only a narrow range of services and is unwilling or incapable of offering comprehensive primary and preventative care. Planned Parenthood cannot treat breast cancer. They do not even have one mammogram machine anywhere in Texas. The only time a woman will see a doctor at Planned Parenthood is if she is there for an abortion. Women deserve better.
Planned Parenthood should not be trusted with our tax dollars. For example, Planned Parenthood of San Antonio operated four abortion facilities illegally without a license for as long as four years until they were discovered by the State in 2009 and fined more than $100,000. They were required to return thousands of dollars billed to the WHP.
The Obama Administration, not the Legislature or the Governor, will be to blame for killing the Women’s Health Program, if the Obama Administration does not renew the program just because Planned Parenthood is excluded.