Daniels to Defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana, and in doing so, Jeopardizes Medicaid Funding UPDATED
Just when you thought there might be one sane GOP candidate out there who could earn the respect of Independents and possibly women, he just had to go and throw that all away…. TPM has his full statement on the issue:
“I will sign HEA 1210 when it reaches my desk a week or so from now. I supported this bill from the outset, and the recent addition of language guarding against the spending of tax dollars to support abortions creates no reason to alter my position. The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers, as reflected in greater than 2:1 bipartisan votes in both legislative chambers.
“I commissioned a careful review of access to services across the state and can confirm that all non-abortion services, whether family planning or basic women’s health, will remain readily available in every one of our 92 counties. In addition, I have ordered the Family and Social Services Administration to see that Medicaid recipients receive prompt notice of nearby care options. We will take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before.
“Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”
I should also note that the bill limits even more the age at which a fetus can be aborted to 20 weeks from current law, which is at 24 weeks. But what’s more interesting is how they defund PP. This is by preventing any Medicaid money from being used at the site, which potentially hurts the service more than the taking away of Title X at the Federal level. Daniels potentially loses millions of federal dollars for his state, because the state can not discriminate who receives money among legitimate healthcare providers. From National Journal:
A potential sticking point for Daniels, however, is the recent inclusion of a provision that cuts off funding for Planned Parenthood, the non-profit agency that provides reproductive health services to millions of women, including many of the state’s Medicaid patients. Roughly half of Indiana births are covered by Medicaid, and Planned Parenthood’s 28 state offices performed more than 5,500 abortions last year alone. Here’s where it gets tricky for Daniels: due to federal statutes that prohibit states from selectively allocating funds to agencies that serve Medicaid recipients, the measure could cost Indiana millions of federal Medicaid dollars if it becomes law.
Needless to say, the Right is overjoyed. From HotAir:
By signing the bill, Daniels would be taking a risk that the feds will withdraw the state’s Medicaid funding entirely as a penalty. By not signing the bill, he’d be signaling to social conservatives who are already suspicious of him over the infamous “truce” comments that he won’t go to bat for them if he’s elected president. What’s an aspiring national candidate to do?
Looks like he’s running
Looks like he’s running indeed. Although, I think many social conservatives will still want more from him before launching him against Obama. Step in the right direction. Pun intended.
I was curious as to just how much money the federal government actually contributes to the states for Medicaid, and whether it is something that Daniels could use to blow back in Obama’s face. Something like, “We don’t need your government handout!!!” Well, it turns out that Medicaid is MOSTLY funded by the Feds in Indiana and other states. Thanks to StateHealthFacts.org you can compare state-by-state and year-by-year. In 2009, the Federal share of Medicaid spending in Indiana was a whooping 73.5% or 4.34 billion dollars. It’s quite different state to state, for example, AZ - 75; CO - 59; LA - 79; OR - 72; WI- 67; WY - 56; but all were between 55 and 85% Fed supported (Mississippi raking in the most at 83.5%). The fact is, if Daniels wanted to play it safe here and not risk losing Medicaid almost entirely, than he should not have signed this bill.