Congressman Gene Green Takes Lead on Letter to Protect Patient Access to Family Planning Providers
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, Representative Gene Green (D-TX) and Democratic members of the Texas Delegation submitted a letter to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission opposing the state’s latest attempt to block lower-income patients from accessing care at qualified family planning providers like Planned Parenthood. If the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approves the waiver, it will mark an unprecedented departure from a longstanding federal policy that safeguards Medicaid enrollees’ free choice of provider for family planning services and confidentiality protections.
“Public family planning programs are designed to increase access to care, reduce unintended pregnancy, and improve a woman’s ability to have a healthy pregnancy. Texas paints a grim picture of what health care access will look like across the country if the Administration bends the rules to allow this latest backdoor attempt to cut off women’s access to care they deserve,” said Rep. Green.
Since the inception of the Healthy Texas Women Program, women’s health and well-being in Texas have suffered. In comparison to its previous Medicaid family planning waiver, 30,000 fewer women have received care, 35 percent fewer women have received the most effective methods of birth control, and 27 percent more births have occurred among women who previously had injectable contraception. It is critical that CMS not approve Texas’ 1115 family planning waiver and make clear that states cannot use federal funds to implement programs that harm women’s access to care.
A copy of the letter can be read HERE.