Comments on Proposed Rules Regarding the Texas Women’s Health Program

Share on Facebook    Share on Twitter

Stacey Pogue /(512) 320-0222 x 117

September 5, 2012

Read Full Article >>  

The Medicaid Women’s Health Program (WHP) provides essential well-woman services to low-income women, saving the state over $40 million annually in the cost of unplanned births and, subsequently, abortions. For every dollar the state spends in the program, the federal government provides nine more. Federal funding in WHP was forfeited when Texas adopted existing program rules designed solely to exclude Planned Parenthood, which provided about 45 percent of services in WHP. These rules conflict with federal Medicaid law by denying women freedom of choice to select their own health care providers, and are currently being challenged in court.

The proposed rules transition WHP to the GR-funded Texas Women’s Health Program, which as proposed, cannot accomplish the same goals as WHP and may cease to be a viable program. Loss of access to family planning through TWHP will have the ripple effects of increasing unintended pregnancies, increasing costs to the state for Medicaid, and increasing abortions. The center submitted comments, recommending that the Department of State Health Services delay further consideration of these rules while current WHP rules and the federal denial of Texas’ WHP waiver are being challenged in court.