Texas Admits It Sold Women Out by Refusing Federal Medicaid Money Over Planned Parenthood – Slate Magazine (blog)
The New York Times reports that Healthy Texas Women, the family-planning program, offers many of the same services Planned Parenthood does: HIV tests, cancer screenings, contraception, STI treatment, and basic screenings for cholesterol and blood pressure. Patients who qualify are women of reproductive age who make up to 200 percent of the poverty line but don’t qualify for Medicaid. Until Texas booted Planned Parenthood and other health-care providers that perform abortions in 2013, forcing the state to turn away all Medicaid dollars that went to the program, 90 percent of Healthy Texas Women’s budget came from the federal government and it served an average of 126,000 patients a month. That was free money for the state, which subsequently had to try to fill in the gaps from elsewhere in the its budget. Last year, monthly enrollment was down to 79,000 patients. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year found that, in the year-and-a-half after Texas stopped including clinics that provided abortions in its program, contraceptive use fell dramatically and childbirth among Medicaid patients rose in counties that had Planned Parenthood affiliates. Those affiliates had lost funding, and thousands of women could no longer see the doctors who were prescribing them birth control.