The Obama Administration has told Texas that our State is not allowed to decide who will provide medical care under Title X Family Planning and Well Woman funds. The Administration has recently ruled in a similar manner for other States. (
This in spite of the fact that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) did give Texas a waiver allowing Texas to move all Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries to doctors in managed care plans. The managed care plans, along with cooperative coalitions between hospital systems and the doctors they will pay for seeing managed care patients, is consistent with the plans laid out in “Obamacare.” Evidently, so is Planned Parenthood’s survival.
CMS claims in this letter to Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission that we’re limiting the choices of the women because the State prioritized where to spend our money and who to pay for healthcare, beginning with county clinics and hospital districts, followed by doctors and clinics that provide comprehensive, continuing care. Since we only have so much money, our Legislature decided to support the most vital care givers. Even though we don’t specifically write in law that “Planned Parenthood, Inc., need not apply,” CMS doesn’t like our plan.
CMS was asked to give a “waiver” to Texas since the funding is outside normal Medicaid rules, because it funds care for adults who are not at the rock-bottom income levels. Texas also has a waiver in order to use funds for prenatal care, justified by counting the unborn child. (The pro-aborts have protested over and over that the mother, not her child, should be the one we count and that she should be allowed to use the money for any “reproductive services,” including abortion, that she wants.)
Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life have both issued statements opposing the CMS ruling.
From Joe Pojman, Ph.D., TAL’s Executive Director:
“We believe the State of Texas has every right to deny millions of tax dollars to Planned Parenthood, which is what the Texas Legislature and Governor Perry has chosen to do,” he said. “Senate Bill 7, passed last summer during a special legislative session, prohibits Medicaid tax dollars under the Women’s Health Program from going to abortion providers and their affiliated organizations.”
“This bill excludes several dozen Planned Parenthood sites from the Women’s Health Program, but it does not exclude any other hundreds of Women’s Health Program providers in Texas. Many of the other providers offer comprehensive primary and preventative care to low- income women in addition to family planning, which Planned Parenthood is unable or unwilling to provide,” he continued. “By threatening to cancel the Women’s Health Program in Texas, the Obama Administration is showing it would sooner deny tens of millions of dollars of medical services to low-income women rather than allow the State of Texas to cut off tax funding to Planned Parenthood.”
Addendum: this article from the Houston Chronicle (I quoted from it here) which implies that the ruling may go so far as to overturn our long-standing law that requires providers to sign a contract affirming that they don’t perform or refer for abortions.