KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Texas Files Lawsuit Over Federal Defunding Of Women’s Health Program

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed the suit Friday, saying that the federal government improperly decided to stop funding the state's Women's Health Program.

The Texas Tribune: Abbott Sues Feds Over Women's Health Program
[Abbott said] that the federal government's action is unconstitutional because it seeks to "commandeer and coerce the states' lawmaking processes into awarding taxpayer subsidies to elective abortion providers." In the complaint, Abbott asks that the federal government resume funding for the program (Ramshaw, 3/16).

Houston Chronicle: Abbott Sues U.S. Over Women's Health Funding
The program provides family planning and preventive-care services such as cancer and sexually transmitted disease screenings to 130,000 Texas women annually. The federal government provides 90 percent of the funding, the state 10 percent. CMS/HHS officials said they don't talk about pending litigation but Friday released a statement reiterating that "patients, not state government officials, should be able to choose the doctors and other health-care providers best for them and their families" (Ackerman and Fikac, 3/17).

The Dallas Morning News: Texas Sues Over Feds' Cutoff Of Women's Health Funds In Planned Parenthood Dispute 
The filing came as newly released federal documents showed that the state should have known its strategy to seek a waiver would fail. The records, released to The Dallas Morning News, show that a similar request to exclude Planned Parenthood when the program was being started six years ago was turned down (Hoppe, 3/16).

Related, from KHN: Feds Drop Women's Health Program (Feibel, 3/15) and earlier summary of news coverage: Feds Begin Funding Cuts To Texas Women's Health Program

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