Medicaid Women’s Health Program loses funding from U.S government
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 20:04
The United States Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will cut off all Medicaid funding for family planning to the state of Texas due to a law that Governor Rick Perry (R) decided to implement that excludes any clinic that provides abortions from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, according to the Huffington Post and USA Today.
According to Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations, HHS is cutting off funding because Texas broke Medicaid rules by discriminating against qualified family planning providers.
“We very much regret the state’s decision to implement this rule, which will prevent women enrolled in the program from receiving services from the trusted health care providers they have chosen and relied upon for their care,” Mann wrote in a letter to Texas health officials. “In light of Texas’ actions, CMS is not in a position to extend or renew the current [Medicaid contract].”
Perry wrote a strongly worded letter to President Barack Obama in reaction to the HHS’s ruling.
“Your administration’s attempt to violate states’ rights under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by mandating which health providers the State of Texas must use is nothing more than an effort to continue to financially support abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and their affiliates,” Perry wrote.
In the letter Perry also promised to find some way to continue paying for the program if the Obama administration, “made good on its threat to end health care to these 100,000- plus women.”
An HHS spokesperson told Huffington Post reporters that this was not Obama’s decision and that the administration’s hands were tied.
According to the New York Times, Wisconsin has withheld funding for family planning and breast cancer screenings, and this has not been challenged by any court. Lawmakers in Indiana and Kansas and North Carolina have all tried to withhold funding from abortions but have been stopped by judges, according to USA Today.
The Texas Medicaid Women’s Health Program is a $40 million program that the federal government use to provide 90 percent of the funding for, according to USA Today.
It is still unclear as to how Perry’s administration will pay for the loss of funding from HHS.