KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Administration Reportedly ‘Encouraged” Texas To Pursue Millions In Withheld Medicaid Funds

State officials will ask the Trump administration to hand over millions of dollars that the Obama administration withheld because the state cut Planned Parenthood centers from a family planning program.

Dallas Morning News: After Shunning Planned Parenthood, Texas Asks Feds To Reinstate Funding For Women's Health
Texas has long looked to limit the operation and scope of Planned Parenthood, focusing its efforts both on the arm of the organization that performs elective abortions and the one that offers general health care and family planning services. "The state is now testing the current administration to see if they're going to be able to get away with it," said Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. "It really opens up a huge can of worms that could be very destructive." (Mekelburg, 5/15)

Modern Healthcare: Texas' Medicaid Waiver Is A 'Canary In The Coal Mine' For Abortion Carve-Outs
The Trump administration will soon review Texas' proposed plan to regain federal funding for its family planning program that does not include Planned Parenthood or providers that support or perform abortions. If the CMS approves the waiver, other states could seek similar permissions and risk millions losing access to care. Texas lost federal funding for its family planning program known as Healthy Texas Women in 2013 after it stopped reimbursing for services performed at Planned Parenthood. Since then, the program has been totally state-funded. Now facing a $2 billion budget shortfall, Texas is looking for ways to reduce spending. (Dickson, 5/16)

Politico Pro: Texas Request For Family Planning Funds Could Set Trend 
The state's pending request for Medicaid to fund a women's health program that excludes abortion providers will be the first major test of the Trump administration's willingness to let states cut off dollars to Planned Parenthood. Texas' health agency will ask the feds to restore funding for a family planning Medicaid waiver the state dropped six years years ago when the Obama administration insisted states couldn't block abortion providers from their programs. (Rayasam, 5/16)

Meanwhile, in Wyoming -

Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune: Wyoming To Lose Only Planned Parenthood Clinic; Casper Location Closes In July
Wyoming’s only Planned Parenthood clinic will close this summer because of financial reasons, the organization confirmed Tuesday. “This is a challenging decision,” said Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains official Adrienne Mansanares. Planned Parenthood’s lone health center in Wyoming is in Casper. It opened in 1975 and serves around 500 patients per year, Mansanares said. It will close July 21. (Rosenfeld, 5/16)

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