After just four months on the job, Texas’ new top public health bureaucrat has said he doesn’t believe in Texas’ high uninsurance numbers, blames good weather for Texans’ ill health, and has hired an adviser who hates children’s Medicaid. Welcome to the future of public health care in Texas.
Looking ahead to the next four years, this strengthened “marriage” between Obama, Democrats generally, and non-white and women voters could help carve a path to genuinely progressive economic policy.
A new study finds that without Planned Parenthood “tens of thousands of low-income Texas women could lose access to affordable family planning services and to other women’s health services.” Meanwhile, the State of Texas is trying to make up for a provider gap it has contended didn’t really exist.
For nearly four decades, the Hyde Amendment has limited the abilities of low-income women to implement timely decisions about ending a pregnancy.
We know what we think about the Hyde Amendment. But what do women who are on Medicaid, the very people who are most affected by Hyde, think about the restrictions it places on their insurance coverage?
If Texas excludes Planned Parenthood from participating in its new state-funded “Texas Women’s Health Program,” 1,748 clients in one city alone–Austin–will have to find new health care providers. That means existing providers, some of which currently see just one or two patients a year, will have to take on about 60 new patients each, even as they deal with a 66 percent cut in overall family planning funding.
Is he or isn’t Perry rejecting the Medicaid expansion? Maybe even Perry doesn’t know.
It’s time to set aside politics and recommit ourselves – as a city, a state and a nation – to family planning and sexual health. As recently as the 1980s, these were civic ideals that united us. If the global community can revive them in 2012, so can we.
On Monday, Texas Governor Rick Perry rejected two major tenets of the Affordable Care act, saying the state would not participate in the individual state exchanges nor in the Medicaid expansion. What does this mean for a state with the highest rate of uninsured citizens — a state that already rejected federal funds for the Medicaid Women’s Health Program? Experts say the result will be escalating private insurance costs and declining public health.
The state would “reprioritize” all federal funding, moving Planned Parenthood to last in line.