KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Indiana Officials Say They Will Defy Federal Order On Planned Parenthood

State lawyers say they must obey a law signed by the governor last month that bars funding to clinics offering abortions. Medicaid officials warned this week that denying payments for covered health services was illegal and could endanger all federal Medicaid payments to the state.

National Journal: Indiana Defies Federal Government On Planned Parenthood
Indiana officials said Thursday they will defy a federal order to continue funding Planned Parenthood and other clinics that offer abortion services. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law in May that would cut off federal funding from Indiana clinics that perform abortions. The law is primarily aimed at the state's Planned Parenthood clinics, which get federal family planning grants to administer services unrelated to abortion (Fox, Brownstein and DoBias, 6/2).

CQ HealthBeat: Mann Tells States They Can't Do What Indiana Tried To Do
A June 1 "informational bulletin" prepared by federal Medicaid Director Cindy Mann in effect tells states they can't legally deny Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood as Indiana wants to do through a recently enacted law. Mann didn't exactly put it that way in the bulletin. She did not, for example, use the words "Indiana" or "Planned Parenthood." But the meaning of the bulletin is clear in light of a letter Wednesday by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Donald M. Berwick. The CMS chief said that Indiana's decision to bar contracts with any provider of abortion services, other than a hospital, violates federal regulations pertaining to Medicaid (Reichard, 6/2).

Also, in Iowa, an abortion-related legislative proposal finds a second chance - 

Des Moines Register: Failed Abortion Measure Tucked Into Budget Bill
A failed legislative proposal that would prohibit low-income Iowans from having a taxpayer-paid abortion in cases of rape or incest returned Thursday, tucked inside what is expected to be the state's nearly $6 billion budget bill. "We did what I believe is right to do here," Rep. Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, said about relaunching the abortion provision (Clayworth, 6/3).

Meanwhile, a new poll suggests the public is growing weary of the fight over abortion -

Politico: Poll: Public Tired Of Abortion Debate
Americans are growing tired of the abortion debate and want to move on to a broader discussion about reproductive health, a new survey by a Democratic polling firm finds. The poll, conducted by Lake Partners, found that Americans feel Congress has focused too much on abortion and not enough on things like preventive care, reproductive health and expanding access to birth control (Nocera, 6/2).

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