Texas May Cut Entire Health Program To Spite Planned Parenthood, Leaving 130,000 Poor Women Without Care
In a year defined by the war on Planned Parenthood, Texas set the example in attacks against the women’s health organization. Not only did the state drastically reduce the state’s family planning funding from $111 million to just $37 million, but Republican lawmakers constructed a “tiered priority system” that ensured Planned Parenthood clinics would be the last to receive any of the remaining Title X federal funding. But Texas clinics can receive funding via another route: the state Women’s Health Program (WHP). Created in 2007, the Medicaid-funded program “provides family planning and primary care to low-income, uninsured women, and it served nearly 125,000 people in 2010 alone.”
So this year, GOP lawmakers decided to insert language into a new Medicaid measure that bans any family planning clinic that is even “affiliated” with an abortion provider from receiving WHP funds. Even though Planned Parenthood “corporately separated its abortion services from its family planning services in 2005,” Republicans wanted the fact that these (strictly family planning) clinics are “affiliated” with organization to disqualify them and asked the Department of Health and Human Services to let the state exclude the clinics accordingly.
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services delivered it’s answer: No, as doing so “would violate the Social Security Act” which guarantees that a Medicaid patient can obtain health services from any qualified agency. But instead of accepting the decision, health advocates say Republicans may cancel the WHP program entirely out of spite, leaving at least 130,000 low-income Texas women without services