KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Texas Bars Abortion Providers From Medicaid, Endangering Federal Money

Texas is barring abortion providers from the state's Medicaid program in defiance of the federal government, sparking a showdown that could close the state's Women's Health Program.

The Hill: Texas Defies Obama Administration, Bars Abortion Providers From Medicaid
Texas on Thursday passed regulations barring Planned Parenthood clinics and other "affiliates of abortion providers" from participating in the state's Medicaid program starting March 14, the Texas Tribune is reporting. The Obama administration has told Texas that its plans violate federal law. If the two parties can't reach agreement, the newspaper reports, the state's Women's Health Program could be dismantled, leaving 130,000 low-income women without access to birth control, cancer screenings and other preventive benefits (Pecquet, 2/23).

The Dallas Morning News: Texas May End Program That Provides Contraceptives, Cancer Screenings To Poor Women
Texas has signaled that it would rather lose $35 million annually in federal help to provide 130,000 poor women access to health care than allow Planned Parenthood to receive part of the funding. Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs signed a rule Thursday that officially bans Planned Parenthood and abortion provider affiliates from getting funding from Texas' largely successful Women's Health Program (Ingram, 2/23).

The Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: New Texas Rule Could End Women's Health Program
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it will enforce a new state law that could shut down the Women's Health Program, which provides health care to more than impoverished 130,000 women. Last year, the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a law making it illegal for the state to provide Medicaid funds to a doctor or clinic that is affiliated with an organization that provides elective abortions, even if the institution receiving the money does not provide them (Tomlinson, 2/23).

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