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What Will Texas' New State-Funded Women's Health Program Look Like?

Written by Andrea Grimes for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post. What will it look like to have no federal Women's Health Program in Texas? That's what the state department of Health and Human Services began figuring out last week when Governor Rick Perry and Texas lawmakers opted to cut Planned Parenthood out of the Women's Health Program in the state and instead move to a wholly state-funded system. The federal government has refused to continue the funding because Medicaid clients have, under federal law, the legal right to seek care wherever they choose, and the Obama administration considers the State of Texas to be violating federal law in their move to exclude Planned Parenthood. A spokesperson for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission says that despite the fact that the federal government funded 90 percent of the Women's Health Program, the change-over process "should be pretty smooth," as they're not "building a new program" but instead are changing the funding source from federal to state monies. The process will involve moving about $30 million from existing state funds to a new Texas Women's Health Program over the next several months. The HHSC will submit a phase-out plan to the feds by April 16th and begin notifying WHP participants that they'll need to find new providers. Continue reading....