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Statement by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on Department of Health and Human Services Decision to Deny Indiana’s Effort to Bar Federal Funding for Planned Parenthood
“Planned Parenthood Federation of America applauds the Department of Health and Human Services for protecting the health of women who rely on Medicaid for primary and preventive health care.
“By issuing a letter to the state of Indiana rejecting its proposal to bar Planned Parenthood from providing preventive health care through Medicaid, HHS is sending a clear message that states cannot play politics with women’s health and prevent Medicaid patients from choosing their preferred health care providers.
“The new law in Indiana prohibits nearly 10,000 women from accessing preventive health care, such as contraception, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment, from Planned Parenthood health centers.
“The HHS letter is a strong rebuke to Indiana and serves as a warning to other states that attempts to bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood violate Medicaid law.”
BACKGROUND: Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a letter to the Indiana Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning denying a request for approval of the state of Indiana’s Medicaid state plan amendment, which includes a provision to bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The letter from Dr. Donald Berwick, CMMS administrator to Patricia Casanova, director, Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning, state of Indiana, reads in part: “I am responding to your request to approve the State of Indiana’s Medicaid State plan amendment (SPA) 11-0 11 , received by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on May 15, 2011. In this amendment, Indiana proposes to prohibit the State Medicaid agency from entering into a contract or grant with providers that perform abortions or maintain or operate facilities where abortions are performed, except for hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers. For the reason set forth below, I am unable to approve SPA 11-011 as submitted, because it does not comply with the requirements of section 1902(a)(23) of the Social Security Act (the Act)….
“This SPA would eliminate the ability of Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services from specific providers for reasons not related to their qualifications to provide such services….”