Governor Rick Perry wants to bar $35 million in federal funds from financing several women’s clinics, particularly Planned Parenthood, reports the Times’ Pam Belluck and Emily Ramshaw.
But the vow to slash federal financing for women’s health care could deal a significant blow to low-income Texans who can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket.
Recently, Texas cut its two-year family budget from $111 million to $38 million, a move the state Legislative Budget Board estimated will leave nearly 284,000 women to fend for themselves, and lead to 20,500 additional births. It’ll also cost Medicaid nearly $230 million.
But that’s not stopping Perry, whose latest rule to snip Planned Parenthood’s ties to the Medicaid-financed Women’s Health Program was passed in late February.
Belluck and Ramshaw say the federal government deems this illegal, but the new policies could take effect as soon as next Wednesday.
Perry’s rule bans almost every Planned Parenthood clinic from participating in WHP and will hang 84,000 Texan women out to dry at a time when health care costs are rising at a rate of 7 per cent each year.
In response, Planned Parenthood issued this statement:
“For many women, Medicaid WHP is their only source of health care. Texas already leads the nation in the number of uninsured families.
Now Perry’s most recent move to adopt this rule means that 130,000 additional Texas women stand to lose access to basic, lifesaving care that helps them stay healthy and plan their pregnancies, and taxpayers will be left footing the bill for millions of dollars in ballooning Medicaid costs related to the loss of this program.”
We’ve already reported more Medicaid planning would actually save taxpayers money, and that access to birth control has helped women advance their careers and close the ever-present pay gap between them and men.