The war on Planned Parenthood is in full swing in Texas. Amid an ongoing battle about Planned Parenthood’s participation in the State Medicaid program – Texas officials cut funding to Planned Parenthood services.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PP) was denied roughly $600,000 in Federal funds for Disease Control and Prevention centers which State health officials are allowed to allocate how they see fit. This year HIV prevention services are out – at least at Planned Parenthood clinics.
In a surprise letter from Texas Department of State Health Services. “There will be no further renewals of this contract.”
In October, Texas officials from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of Inspector General:
told the group [Planned Parenthood] their enrollment in the joint state-federal Medicaid program was in the process of being terminated because they were potentially “liable, directly or by affiliation, for a series of serious Medicaid program violations.” Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas receive a total of about $3 million to $4 million a year in Medicaid reimbursements through the state, according to commission figures.
The Inspector General, Stuart Bowen, has grew skiddish after the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released their series of Planned Parenthood videos. Mr. Bowen added to the statement “Planned Parenthood is no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal, and ethical manner.”
It should be noted here that Indiana screwed up big when they stopped funding HIV prevention in 2009 culminating into an epidemic. Wendy Armstrong, MD, professor of medicine at Emory University summarized the Indiana as “tragic on so many levels, especially since these cases could have been prevent or at least minimized.”The Lesson learned from Indiana’s HIV outbreak was this.
Armstrong cites the lack of a “comprehensive HIV prevention package” for an at-risk population as contributing to the Indiana disaster. She also notes that the apparent widespread use of drugs (particularly among multiple individuals within a single family), reflects an utter lack of resources to effectively address substance use. Armstrong explains that needle exchange programs can offer a critical point of health care access for underserved populations.
Maybe that 2009 ban on needle exchange programs wasn’t such a hot idea in hindsight. It must have polled well for congressman Mike Pence. He’s now Governor Mike Pence.