Texas seeks unprecedented federal money to defund Planned Parenthood


States request could pave the way for other states to adopt the same aggressive tactics to defund the nations largest reproductive healthcare provider

Texas will ask the Trump administration to green-light the states unprecedented make further efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, according to documents ascertained by the Guardian.

The request could pave the way for dozens of other states to adopt the same aggressive tactics to defund the nations largest reproductive healthcare provider.

Under the Obama administration, Texas lost millions in federal family planning monies as a consequence of its unlawful make further efforts to block Planned Parenthood from participating in Medicaid.

In the consequence, Texas made a state-funded family planning program which critics mention failed to adequately supplant the benefits of Planned Parenthood.

Now, in a letter obtained by the Guardian, Texas officials ask the US health department to fund its government program the same one the government made after it defied federal laws that prohibit defunding Planned Parenthood.

In its letter, which is expected to be sent to the Trump administration as early as this week, Texas builds no indication that the government plans to comply with those laws and reinstate Planned Parenthoods funding.

Were all terrified, said Elizabeth Nash, senior government issue director at the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank that supports abortion rights. This is really huge, if they let Texas do this.

A half dozen other states have attempted to exclude Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funding. But only Texas, by giving up millions in such funding, has been successful.

If the Trump administration was to reinstate Texass funding, it would signal that other states could follow suit without suffering a fiscal hit.

It would let all of these states start kicking Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid, Nash said. And Medicaid is by far the most significant form of public funded for family planning.

In Texas, the state-funded womens health program served 30,000 fewer wives than the old program. An independent study concluded that reimbursement claims for the most effective different forms of contraception dropped by more than 30% after it defunded Planned Parenthood.

The cuts likewise forced several Planned Parenthood clinics to close, leaving patients to find another provider. I dislike to say it, a community health provider in Midland lately told the Guardian, but I suppose an dreadful plenty of the status of women only opted to go without care.

A spokesman for the US health department declined to confirm whether Texas has already submitted the letter ascertained by the Guardian, and a spokeswoman for the Texas health department did not respond to similar inquiries.

But the government shows firmly is fully committed to making its request official: an appropriations bill only introduced in the government Senate projects that the government looked forward to receiving $90 m in federal monies annually in coming fiscal year 2018 and 2019.

Texas has gone to greater durations than any other government in its quest to defund Planned Parenthood.

Before losing federal Medicaid funding, the government received approximately $30 m a year to repay providers that offered no-cost contraception, cancer screenings, STI tests and treatment and well girl exams to low-income women.

By federal law, abortion services were not eligible for reimbursement. But in 2011, Texas lawmakers who opposed Planned Parenthoods role as an abortion provider nonetheless voted to cut off all its funding.

The vote placed Texas in violation of a federal law that commits Medicaid enrollees the right to visit any qualified healthcare provider. Courts have said this means that states cannot exclude a provider only because it provides abortions.

Texas was thus ineligible to receive any more federal Medicaid family planning monies monies that accounted for 90% on the part of states spending on family planning.

Instead of backing down, the government announced that it would provide 100% of the funding for a new womens health program, one with rules that excluded all abortion providers.

Now Texas is seeking for the federal government to restore its Medicaid family planning funding without having reinstated Planned Parenthoods participation in the program.

This shell game theyre playing has immense implications, said Dr George Benjamin, chairman of the American Public Health Association. And while theyre focused on abortion providers today, if the Trump administration approves this, some other government can come along and object to any other type of provider for ideological reasons.

Many public health experts quote proof that defunding Planned Parenthood was devastating for Texas wives. Previously, Planned Parenthood treated nearly 40% of the status of women enrolled in the states womens health program.

We know public health has deteriorated in Texas. We know fewer wives are get care, said Dr. Benjamin. They clearly didnt get the performance that they get when Planned Parenthood was part of the program.

Texas maintains that its state-funded replacement, which was consolidated with another health program and renamed Healthy Texas Women, provides low-income women with a robust safety net. In its letter to request federal funding, the government builds no mention of the controversial descents of the program or potential conflict with federal law. Instead, it mentions provider participate has more than doubled.

The letter asks for federal participation in the states womens health program as soon as is practicable. The petition is addressed to the federal Center for Medicare& Medicaid Service, the division of the health department that stripped Texas of its Medicaid funding in 2012.

Without the federal funding, the Senate budget bill states, reductions to program funding or service levels are a possibility.

The state would request the funding via a Medicaid waiver, a measure intended to states experiment with delivering better healthcare to Medicaid recipients. Final authority rests with health secretary Tom Price, a longtime proponent of defunding Planned Parenthood.

It would be immensely troubling if the authorities concerned utilized their authority to grant this waiver, when these waivers are meant to actually expand access to healthcare, said Adam Sonfield, executive policy director at Guttmacher.

Planned Parenthood and its allies is very likely to launch a legal challenge if the health department reinstated federal funds for Texas program without it being changed.

There are signs the Trump administration may follow such a course. Donald Trump lately signed a bill encouraging states to cut off other forms of federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The legislation the House of Representative passed one week ago to repeal the Affordable Care Act includes a provision to cut off all Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood, some $500 m annually.

As of 2010, in 67% of districts with a Planned Parenthood clinic, the organisation serves at least half of the status of women obtaining contraception through the public safety net. In 103 districts, Planned Parenthood is the only safety net provider for family planning.

Texass experience illuminates what may happen on a larger scale, Joseph Potter, a UT Austin researcher, said. His survey discovered lower rates of contraception use and higher rates of unplanned pregnancy in regions of Texas where Planned Parenthood was abruptly slashed out of the safety net.

These results contradict the assertion that Planned Parenthood could be removed from a statewide program with little or no repercussion, the study advised.[ They] should be cautionary to states considering similar measures.

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