Texas Stripped Of Federal Medicaid Funds For Women’s Health Program After Cutting Off Planned Parenthood

About 130,000 women will lose Medicaid coverage after the federal government notified Texas that because of its decision to block Planned Parenthood from receiving funds, it can no longer collect $39 million for the Women’s Health Program in the state. The decision was announced on Thursday, according to the Washington Post.

Medicaid Director Cindy Mann wrote a letter to Texas officials, stating “We very much regret the state’s decision to implement this rule, which will prevent women enrolled in the program from receiving services from the trusted health care providers they have chosen and relied on for their care.”

The kinds of services lost because of Texas’ war against abortion providers include cancer screenings, contraception, and other women’s health services which make up 97% of what Planned Parenthood does besides abortion. Rick Perry tried to blame the Obama Administration for playing politics by tweeting, “Obama Admin ends #WHP via media conference call; @GovernorPerry pledges state will keep pgm going” and “This is how Obama Admin works? Notifying press before the state administrators? Purely political. #WHP.”

But this action occurred not because of the Obama Administration, but because of the actions of Governor Rick Perry. Perry violated federal law by insisting on rules that excluded Planned Parenthood from receiving funding from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program. Cindy Mann reiterated how disappointed she was to have to make the decision but ultimately didn’t have a choice. “Medicaid law is clear: patients — not the state government or officials — are able to choose the doctor and health care providers that are best for them and their families,” she said.

It’s not the President who is playing politics either. Because of his opposition to a woman’s right to choose an abortion, Perry purposefully cut off all Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, and as we all know, Republicans have made a strong effort to make abortion political. Perry also violated the law and did exactly what Republicans have been accusing President Obama of doing since passage of the Affordable Care Act. As I recall, Republicans were constantly falsely accusing the President of keeping people from choosing their own doctors and health providers and that is precisely what Rick Perry has done in Texas.

While I sympathize with the 130,000 women who will lose their coverage, not only do I agree with the decision to take federal money from Texas, I think it’s time for the federal government to show red states what life would be like without federal aid and federal programs. For too long, Republicans in states like Texas, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Utah, Georgia, and Arizona have shown nothing but disrespect for all the federal government does, despite the fact that red states receive more federal money than blue states. Red states have taken federal programs for granted and need to be reminded of just how much the federal government does for them. Republicans have called for eliminating most of what the federal government does. So, I think the US Government should temporarily cut off red states. No more Social Security, no more Medicare, no more Medicaid, no more highway funds, no more EPA funds, no more disaster relief funds, no more job training funds, no more border patrol, etc. Only then will voters in conservative states understand what they are losing by voting for Republicans. The cut-off doesn’t have to last long, just a month or two to drive home the point that wiping out the 20th Century is a bad thing. Republicans asked for it, let’s give them what they seek and see how long they last before they come crawling back because their constituents give them hell for it.