You may remember that Indiana was pulling their contributions to Planned Parenthood and that this would eliminate primary healthcare for approximately 10,000 low income women in the state. Planned Parenthood was continuing to provide services using donations to pay for them, but starting today has had to make large cutbacks in Indiana. Rachel Maddow had a good segment on this tonight. The Indiana action is clearly against federal medicaid laws so it may be pulled back after a judge rules, but until then, the Republicans are denying health care to its citizens. I believe that President Obama should cut all Medicaid funding to the state of Indiana. That will hurt people, but it is also about the only way to stop these idiots from more of these actions. My understanding is that since the federal Medicaid administrator has already found this illegal, the administration could cut off funds immediately. Every time someone calls them on their actions, the republicans back down, but they won’t back down if no one calls them. Governor Mitch Daniels makes the wall of shame for his part in this.
The state of Indiana has passed a law making changes to Indiana Medicaid, including banning funding to Planned Parenthood. As we know, very little of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion related (3% from the Planned Parenthood 2008-9 annual report), so the effect of this change is to deny basic healthcare services to many women. In fact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood and other family planning centers are the primary or even exclusive sources of health care for many women.
The Obama administration is pushing back. HHS sent a letter to Indiana informing them that their plan will improperly bar beneficiaries from receiving services. Specifically, Medicaid Administrator Donald M. Berwick wrote, “Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care providers from providing services that are funded under the program because of a provider’s scope of practice.” If Indiana chooses to continue down this path, then the federal government could conceivable cut off all Medicaid funding to Indiana.
Obama has shown time after time that he is not willing to stand firm on any issues and is always looking to find a compromise, but my fervent desire is that he will decide to use this case to break that pattern. I know that many people will be harmed if Medicaid is shut down temporarily in Indiana, but every time he caves in to these right wing wackoes, many other people are harmed and the wackoes are encouraged to come up with even more harmful plans. This is a heartless numbers game of picking your stands where they do the least harm. In this particular case, Obama can stand firm against a bad idea and limit the damage to one state. He should be able to sell it as yet another republican attack on Medicaid since that is exactly what this is.
Indiana has 60 days to appeal, but so far they haven’t shown much interest in changing their law. We will monitor this one over the summer and update it as new changes occur.
Categories: Fighting Back, Planned Parenthood, Uncategorized
Categories: Family Planning, Health Care, Planned Parenthood, Reproductive Rights
Mike Pence (R-IN) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) held an anti-abortion rights teleconference Monday night. Pence’s amendment to the continuing resolution on the federal budget would strip funding from all family planning providers that offer abortion services. Pence makes me cringe everytime he opens his mouth. At lease everyone should be able to predict his actions by now. News article about the teleconference is here. Additional comments from DailyKos is here.