Says Defunding Planned Parenthood May Break the Law
In the wake of the heart-wrenching videos concerning Planned Parenthood’s sale of “fully intact” aborted babies and their assorted “baby parts,” sometimes without the mother’s consent, Alabama governor Bentley, Louisiana governor Jindal, and New Hampshire’s Executive Council took steps to defund Planned Parenthood in their states.
Because these defunding measures involve Medicaid, a federally-funded program, the Obama White House is warning states that they may be breaking the law by accepting Medicaid funding and excluding Planned Parenthood. The Hill reports:
The Obama administration has warned Louisiana and Alabama that they could be violating federal law by cutting off Planned Parenthood from their states’ Medicaid programs.
The Republican governors in both states this month terminated their state Medicaid contracts with the organization in the wake of controversial undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the price of fetal tissue for medical research.
But the White House points out that federal law says Medicaid beneficiaries may obtain services from any qualified provider and that cutting Planned Parenthood out of the program restricts that choice.
“CMS has notified states who have taken action to terminate their Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood that they may be in conflict with federal law,” Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Ben Wakana said in a statement.
“Longstanding Medicaid laws prohibit states from restricting individuals who have coverage through Medicaid from receiving care from a qualified provider,” he said. “By restricting which provider a woman could choose to receive care from, women could lose access to critical preventive care, such as cancer screenings.”
While the issue of how states spend federal money is a point of debate in this instance, what is not a point of debate is that Planned Parenthood is not the only—or indeed a viable—venue for cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood provides only manual clinical breast exams, exams women can do themselves at home. TownHall reports:
But Planned Parenthood does not actually provide comprehensive breast cancer screenings. They offer only manual clinical breast exams. These exams are not alone sufficient to detect and diagnose breast cancer. Other types of screening, such as mammograms and MRIs, are much more adequate at detecting breast cancer in at-risk women. The American Cancer Society recommends that women with a high risk of breast cancer get an MRI and a mammogram every year.
Planned Parenthood does not offer these services. Freedom of Information Act requests have revealed that not a single Planned Parenthood in the United States has a mammogram machine. Not one. [emphasis added]
Planned Parenthood is an operation with one main purpose, and that purpose is not to provide cancer screenings to women. So while the Obama White House and Democrats, even Donald Trump, are stating that they are worried about “women’s health” and “access to health care” when they defend Planned Parenthood, we know better.
When it comes to defunding Planned Parenthood at the state level, however, the Obama White House is correct. Hot Air explains:
However — and this is important to remember — on legal grounds, the Obama administration is correct, at least for now. There are two programs through which Planned Parenthood gets federal funds, Title X and Medicaid. Congress funds Title X for family planning services, and can block Planned Parenthood from receiving those funds at any time, assuming they can pass such a bill and get a President to sign it. Medicaid, on the other hand, has guarantees for patient choice, which federal courts have upheld in the past as a higher priority than government bars on certain providers. If a clinic takes Medicaid patients and remains otherwise in good standing, Medicaid has to reimburse the clinic for covered legitimate services.
The states cannot stop the flow of federal (taxpayer) dollars to Planned Parenthood. Only Congress can do that, and they will only do that if there is sufficient public pressure to do so.DONATE
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