Lawmakers must pass funding for program
Goodman said the commission had found “pockets of money” in its budget to fund the Women’s Health Program through the current fiscal year, which will end in August. The legislature will have to pass funding to continue the program from September on, she said.
To help fund the program, Goodman said officials are reducing overtime costs and trying to improve efforts to recover Medicaid funds lost to fraud or wasteful spending.
Jonathan Mitchell of the Texas attorney general’s office argued Friday that Sebelius’ move to cut funding was an “abuse of discretion.” Texas had authority under the program to set guidelines for providers that the state felt were appropriate, he said.
But Joseph Mead, an attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice, said federal law gave Sebelius discretion to approve or deny state funding requests. Medicaid rules also guaranteed patients the chance to choose their provider, Mead said.
“The state wants to have its cake and eat it too,” Mead said.
Smith did not detail why he declined to grant an injunction.