Cutting off Planned Parenthood’s contracts to provide Medicaid services probably contravenes federal law, but Kansas has done it anyway.
Gov. Sam Brownback( R ), one of the nation’s most virulently anti-abortion elected official, promised in January that he would defund Planned Parenthood, and his nation government followed through with security threats Tuesday.
The state’s Department of Health and Environment sent Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri a letter saying it would terminate the organization’s Medicaid contract next week. The agency told Planned Parenthood it could no longer serve as a Medicaid provider because of “noncompliance with applicable country laws” and “unethical or unprofessional conduct.”
The Kansas legislature passed a bill on Sunday redirecting the approximately $60,000 Planned Parenthood receives each year to other public health clinics.
“This is an outrageous attempt by Gov. Brownback to punish the women and men who have freely chosen Planned Parenthood for their health care for decades, ” Laura McQuade, chairwoman and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said in a statement.
The Hyde Amendment bars federal funding for most abortions; in Kansas, Medicaid monies help Planned Parenthood offer health exams, vaccinations, contraception and cancer screenings for low-income both patients and patients with disabilities.
States cannot discontinue Medicaid contracts simply because they don’t like that a particular provider also performs abortions, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid wrote in a letter to state governments two weeks ago.
A Medicaid contract termination is only justifiable if the providers can’t offer covered medical services or aren’t able to bill for those services, the federal agency said. While the federal government hasn’t endeavoured to sue any countries over cutting Planned Parenthood’s funding, the Justice Department sided with the organization when it sued Louisiana for doing so.
“Denying Kansans on Medicaid access to Planned Parenthood services flies in the face of the clear federal guidance that protects the rights of patients to assure their suppliers of option, ” McQuade said. “Brownback is utilizing health care as a political football, and it’s Kansans who will pay the price if he’s not stopped.”
Brownback said in January that Planned Parenthood should not get any state funding because its “trafficking of baby body parts is antithetical to our belief in human dignity, ” referring to the series of undercover sting videos made by anti-abortion activists indicating the health care provider’s faculty discussing the donation of fetal tissue for medical research.
While numerous federal and nation organisations — including in Kansas — have uncovered no evidence that Planned Parenthood’s state affiliates profited from the transfer of the fetal remains to tissue procurement companies, state governments and Republicans in Congress have used the videos as an excuse to defund the organization and call for prohibitions on fetal tissue donation.
Planned Parenthood affiliates in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Utah have successfully blocked Medicaid terminations from going into effect. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has 30 days to request a hearing on its own contract being cut off.
Brownback has previously demonstrated his willingness to target abortion providers. Last year, for instance, he signed a first-in-the-nation law that would have effectively banned a procedure used to perform the vast majority of second-trimester abortions. A federal magistrate blocked the law before it took effect.
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