Texas’ Medicaid waiver could be ‘canary in the coal mine’ on abortion funding carve-outs
The Trump administration will soon review Texas’ proposed plan to regain $300 million in federal funding for its family planning program that does not include Planned Parenthood or providers that support or perform abortions.
If the CMS approves the waiver, other states could seek similar permissions and risk millions losing access to care.
Texas lost federal funding for its family planning program known as Healthy Texas Women in 2013 after it stopped reimbursing for services performed at Planned Parenthood. Since then, the program has been totally state-funded.
If the waiver is granted, the impact could ripple far beyond Texas.
Of the more than 74 million people on Medicaid, nearly 17 million are non-elderly women who depend on Planned Parenthood as their primary source of essential healthcare.
Preventing willing providers from seeing Medicaid patients is prohibited by federal law, but Texas state officials hope the CMS under Trump will test this new family planning vision.
Under the Healthy Texas Women program, doctors must sign a contract that stipulates that they can’t bill the program if they promote elective abortions or are affiliated with a group that performs or promotes elective abortions.