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Thu Aug 13, 2015, 07:33 PM

HHS Pushes Back On States Defunding Planned Parenthood Over Videos

The states will have a hard time legally defunding Planned Parenthood http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/states-warned-medicaid-abortion

States that have sought to cut Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood after an anti-abortion "sting" video campaign have been warned by the Obama administration that efforts to block such funding may not be legal, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

According to the Journal, the Department of Health and Human Services contacted state officials in Alabama and Louisiana earlier this month to express concern about that the states' moves to end their Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood over the videos. Medicaid recipients can use funds for preventative services from the organization like cancer screenings, but federal funding for abortions in most cases is already prohibited by law.

Under HHS guidance released in 2011, states cannot block Medicaid funding to providers on the basis of the other services offered, the Wall Street Journal said, and that memo was sent to state officials after their announcements.

State officials told the Journal that they were allowed to end the contracts. Although courts have sided with Planned Parenthood in past legal battles over Medicaid funding, anti-abortion activists countered to the Journal that in this case, states are blocking the funding over criminal activity, which is permitted by the 2011 memo.

Backers of the "sting" videos -- which a group going by the name 'Center for Medical Progress' began releasing last month -- say they show that Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from the donation of aborted fetus tissue to researchers. The reproductive health organization argues the videos are heavily edited and the only fees charged for the tissues are to reimburse the extra procurement costs, as allowed by the law.

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Reply HHS Pushes Back On States Defunding Planned Parenthood Over Videos (Original post)
Letmypeoplevote Aug 2015 OP
Letmypeoplevote Aug 2015 #1
Pug-ly Aug 2015 #2

Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 08:02 PM

1. Obama admin warns states on Planned Parenthood defunding

The states will have a hard time defunding Planned Parenthood http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/obama-admin-warns-states-planned-parenthood-defunding

At the state level, meanwhile, officials in Alabama, Louisiana, and New Hampshire recently decided to block public resources for Planned Parenthood – it apparently doesn’t matter that some of these states don’t have clinics that perform abortions – and related efforts are underway in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, however, that the Obama administration isn’t just committed to protecting Planned Parenthood in a political dispute; it’s also concerned about the legality of state action against the health organization.

Federal law requires that Medicaid beneficiaries may obtain services, including family-planning care, from any qualified provider. Terminating Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid provider agreements restricts access by not permitting them to get services from providers of their choice, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a unit of HHS, has notified Louisiana and Alabama, which have taken action to terminate their Medicaid provider agreements with Planned Parenthood, that they may be in conflict with federal law, according to HHS. CMS said that, by restricting which provider a woman could choose to receive care from, women could lose access to critical preventive care, such as cancer screenings.
The key here are guidelines from 2011, in which HHS said states “cannot block Medicaid funding to providers on the basis of the other services offered.” In other words, Alabama can’t block funding for cancer screenings because it opposes abortion, since public money can pay for the former but not the latter.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Fri Aug 14, 2015, 06:42 AM

2. This is good to see. Thanks, Let. nt

 

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