KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Feds Won’t Renew $30 Million Funding For Texas’ Women’s Health Program

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed Friday that the federal government would stop funding the program which provides health care to more than 100,000 women after Texas  barred Planned Parenthood and other "affiliates of abortion providers" from participating. Gov. Rick Perry has pledged to replace the money, but has not said where it would come from.

The Associated Press: Health Program Losing Federal Funds, Clinics
But under a state law taking effect Wednesday, Henry and other eligible women won't be able to get care at Planned Parenthood clinics -- which treat about 44 percent of the program's patients -- or other facilities with ties to abortion providers, meaning those women will have to find new health care providers. The $40 million program is at the center of a faceoff between conservative Republican lawmakers and the federal government, which provides 90 percent of the program's funding (Brown, 3/11).

Bloomberg: Perry Vows To Replace U.S. Funds That May Be Cut Off Over Abortion-Aid Ban
Governor Rick Perry pledged to replace almost $30 million in federal funds for a family- planning program for low-income women in Texas that may be cut off because of a state ban on aid to abortion providers. … The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services advised Texas officials that a waiver for the Women's Health Program won't be extended, Perry said in the letter. A statement yesterday from Perry's office said the cutoff would result from the state ban on abortion funding. The $33 million program provides services to more than 100,000 women. Nicholas Papas, a White House spokesman, didn't have an immediate comment on Perry's letter (Mildenberg, 3/9). 

The Hill: Obama Administration Nixes Texas Medicaid Program Over Planned Parenthood Ban
The Obama administration confirmed Friday that it will stop funding a Medicaid family-planning and preventive care program for 130,000 low-income Texas women after the state barred Planned Parenthood and other "affiliates of abortion providers" from participating. The Health and Human Services Department will "let Texas know that that waiver will not be extended," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Friday, according to The Associated Press (Pecquet, 3/9).

Reuters: Government To Cut Texas Women's Health Funds In Abortion Dispute
The federal government will withdraw funding for a Texas program providing more than 100,000 poor women with birth control and other health services because Planned Parenthood clinics are not allowed to participate, a U.S. Health and Human Services spokeswoman said on Friday. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the decision in Houston on Friday, prompting a furious response from Texas Governor Rick Perry, who called it an "egregious federal overreach" (3/9).

The Texas Tribune: Feds Will Not Renew Women's Health Program 
Though Perry says the state has the medical capacity to continue to treat the more than 100,000 women enrolled in the program without Planned Parenthood clinics, other health leaders vehemently disagree. And Perry didn't say where cash-strapped Texas will find the roughly $30 million per year the federal government provides to help low-income women on Medicaid receive birth control, cancer screenings and STD tests (Ramshaw, 3/9). 

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