Health Care In The States

Feds Drop Texas Women’s Health Program

By Carrie Feibel, KUHF

March 15th, 2012, 7:02 PM

The federal government told Texas today that it would be dropping the state from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program.

Until now, federal Medicaid dollars had paid for 90 percent of the costs to help poor Texas women get gynecological exams, cancer screenings and contraception.

Federal Medicaid director Cindy Mann says Texas will be dropped because Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, insisted on rules that excluded Planned Parenthood from the program.

“I just want to again underscore how disappointed we are in having to take this action,” Mann said.

“We don’t have a choice,” she added. “Medicaid law is clear: patients — not the state government or officials — are able to choose the doctor and health care providers that are best for them and their families.”

Mann says there will be a three to six month phase-out period, so women treated at Planned Parenthood clinics will have time to find a new provider.

Perry has said he wants to continue serving the 130,000 women who use the program, but shift them into a state-funded program under state rules. The program costs nearly $40 million.

Perry reacted angrily to the news on his official twitter feed. He tweeted: “Obama Admin ends #WHP via media conference call; @GovernorPerry pledges state will keep pgm going” and “This is how Obama Admin works? Notifying press before the state administrators? Purely political. #WHP.”

Last week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius indicated that the administration was headed in this direction during a tour of a Houston hospital.

On the same tour, Rep. Gene Green, a Democrat who represents parts of Houston, said he wanted to continue talking to the Obama administration about ways to keep the federal dollars flowing to Texas women.

Green said last Friday: “If Texas makes a decision, these are federal Medicaid dollars, we could bypass the state and come directly to some entity, like a Harris County Hospital District or Dallas County.”

Green couldn’t be reached for comment to say whether he still thinks a county workaround might be a viable option.

But according to The Texas Tribune, when Mann was asked “if local governments could skip the state level and coordinate directly with the federal government to continue to get support, Mann said no. She said money for Medicaid programs flows through the state.”

7 Responses to “Feds Drop Texas Women’s Health Program”

  1. Randy says:

    Texas has always been in favor of cessation. Let them have it! Governor Perry, like so many extreme right wing neanderthal Governors elected by the Tea Party Tsunami of November 2010, want to take their populations back to the dark ages. Let them! If Texans think Rick Perry is the best thing that ever happened to Texas since George W. Bush, let them follow him back to the 19th century. Meanwhile, there’s more in the pot for the rest of us non-Texans!

  2. Laws don't apply to Perry says:

    Why is Perry feigning surprise at the White House’s action? Is he truly so ignorant of basic medicaid law? And, if he is so stupid, why not hire aids who can keep him informed?

    This is basic stuff that should have been covered in his first year of being governor. But, maybe that assumption just applies to folks who don’t celebrate ignorance.

  3. Ron says:

    Wow, the always civil and rational left is at it again. Apparently the killing of human babies is a 21st century “right.” If we try to avoid aborting human life, that’s a 19th century ideal. The fact that most abortions are of girls who would otherwise grow up to be women is irrelevant to “women’s rights” in the liberal mind. But with so many anti-female misogynists on the left, maybe that is no surprise. I am not aware of any Neanderthal governors. That is an extinct species. Is Scott Walker an example of a terrible right wing governor? A guy who is balancing his state’s budget and providing surpluses to school districts? All by doing nothing different than Democrat Cuomo did in NY. I know deficit spending is a huge Democrat ideal, but really this country will go bankrupt if you don’t stop. Since Perry has been governor 10 years, what does that have to do with the election of 2010? And why do you think so many Republicans won in 2010? People care about the bankrupting of this country. Since Obama and the Democratic Congress took no action to restructure entitlements, what’s happening in TX is foreshadowing of what will happen to us all when the money runs out. The new medical entitlement will make that day arrive sooner.

  4. Randy says:

    So tell me Mr. Flintstone, when’s the next meeting of the Flat Earth Society? Duh?

  5. Roxy says:

    Wow indeed, Ron. This is not about “killing babies” it is about how to provide healthcare, including pre-natal care (which Planned Parenthood does provide) for poor women.

    Now that some women won’t have access to healthcare we in Texas can look forward to more low-birth-weight babies (NICU$), more unwanted pregnancies (CPS$ and the cost of adoption for the lucky ones), more support for poor children (food stamps, WIC$, school $), and a continuing cycle of the same.

  6. Dee Dee says:

    @ Roxy – I am very sorry that the women of Texas are the first to be slapped with this blatant disregard for women’s health needs. We ladies in California got your back, and will stand with you through your trials.

  7. Martin says:

    WOW?! Ron for such an erudite statement you really haven’t got a clue do you? Your Manhood needs eradication you don’t deserve to be a man… Respect women and maybe you’ll feel differently about your all be it well written but ignorant response. Slavery is not a life. Rights! How hold are you? After Roe v Wade the women didn’t have to throw babies in garbage cans. Is it because you run an Orphanage AND NEED MORE CHILDREN? Would you like more poor and , well labor surplus for sweat shops? Where women are beaten and abused for the amusement of men?