They turned me into a newt…
…I got better!
Texas is gearing up for a full-fledged witch hunt.
The target is women’s health provider Planned Parenthood, and it is clear that lawmakers and state officials will not stop until the 94-year-old nonprofit is completely dismantled in Texas.
Last week ended with Planned Parenthood being put on notice that the state intended to strip the nonprofit of its ability to receive Medicaid reimbursement for health services, alleging that Planned Parenthood had “committed and condoned numerous acts of misconduct captured on video.”
Interestingly, the state has not yet produced any evidence to support its allegation that laws or policies were broken aside from the heavily edited videos taped in secret and released by an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress. The controversial fetal tissue program that has dominated the national headlines doesn’t even exist in Texas.
Even so, three days later, state health officials raided three Planned Parenthood offices and subpoenaed the group for thousands of documents, including detailed patient records.
Let me underscore this important fact.
Planned Parenthood’s Texas affiliates are not even engaged in the fetal donation program that was deemed scandalous by the con-artists at the CMP. And even if they were, that is not illegal or unethical.
Meanwhile, our benevolent federal overlords are not pleased with these recent reactionary shenanigans:
The Obama administration has warned state officials that pushing Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Medicaid program could put Texas at odds with federal law.
Officials with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services contacted the state Medicaid director on Tuesday to give notice that removing Planned Parenthood from the program “may be in conflict with federal law” because poor women who obtain family planning services through Medicaid would be limited from receiving health care from the qualified provider of their choice.
“Longstanding Medicaid law prohibits states from restricting individuals with Medicaid coverage from receiving their care from any qualified provider,” a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services representative said in a statement. “Every year, millions of women benefit from critical preventive services, such as cancer screenings, that Planned Parenthood provides. State efforts to restrict women from using qualified providers puts these important health care services at risk.”
Yeah. About that.
Thanks a lot for nothing, Obama.