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Texas’ Replacement to Planned Parenthood is Providing Health Care to Thousands Fewer Low-Income Women

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Texas’ plan to substitute Medicaid-backed Planned Parenthood providers with less-qualified health care suppliers has not produced the gleaming outcomes the state promised. Instead, 44,000 fewer women are enrolled within the state’s household planning program for Medicaid recipients.

This program, dubbed Healthy Texas Women, has left hundreds of low-income women throughout Texas with out certified household planning suppliers — and the required health providers they supply, in accordance to knowledge crunched by Center for Public Policy Priorities’ coverage analyst Stacey Pogue.

“Texas made the rosy prediction that former Planned Parenthood clients would be able to readily find alternative providers, but actual experience shows this is not the case,” wrote Pogue in a report despatched to Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission.

She mailed the report Monday — the final day the state would settle for public remark on an software it intends to ship to the feds, requesting extra funding for the Healthy Texas Woman program.

Pogue’s numbers go all the best way again to 2011, when Texas first withdrew funding from Planned Parenthood. At the time, Planned Parenthood served greater than 40 % of the shoppers enrolled within the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program (now Healthy Texas Woman). That modified as quickly because the state legislature minimize Planned Parenthood and all different abortion suppliers from its state Medicaid finances in 2011 — and worsened in 2013, when lawmakers pulled funds from any clinic that even related itself with abortion suppliers or advocated for abortion rights.

The variety of Medicaid shoppers accessing household planning providers, like pap smear exams and contraception prescriptions, has plummeted. According to Pogue’s knowledge, sourced from Texas Health and Human Services fiscal stories, some 44,000 fewer women have been utilizing the state’s Medicaid-backed household planning program in 2016 than in 2011. What’s odd, she notes, is that whereas the variety of shoppers dropped, the variety of eligible suppliers grew.

HHS racks that imbalance up to the truth that extra women are selecting long-acting reversible contraception strategies, like an IUD. In the state’s eyes, meaning fewer women will want to verify in with a household planning supplier. But Pouge stated there isn’t any approach the small fraction of women who obtain this type of contraception in Texas might have made this type of impression.

Instead, Pouge argues that the rising listing of clinics are “providers in name only” — that whereas the Healthy Texas Woman web site lists hundreds of suppliers, solely a portion of them actively serve Healthy Texas Women shoppers. And the suppliers that do see these sufferers are far much less adept at serving to a lady entry care than Planned Parenthood or different household planning specialist.

“They don’t have experience counseling a woman on her options or may not even have the right kind of contraceptive she’s looking for,” she stated. “This isn’t their specialty. It turns out these things aren’t easy.”

A 2016 University of Texas research discovered that after Planned Parenthood cuts, low-income women who used to depend on its providers struggled to discover a alternative. Many had to drive lengthy distances to see a supplier, pay extra for an appointment, and ended up with much less efficient contraceptives — if any in any respect. The state’s knowledge mirror that.

Pouge factors to Texas’ skyrocketing being pregnant price amongst women coated by Medicaid as the apparent outcome to restricted contraception care. Between 2011 and 2014, the variety of births from Texas women on Medicaid elevated by 27 %. Then once more, Texas did process the Heidi Group, an anti-abortion group, with connecting Healthy Texas Women shoppers with new health care suppliers (a activity additionally they have not succeed at).

“Overwhelming evidence shows that expelling Planned Parenthood — a well-qualified, trusted family planning provider…has had adverse effects on women’s access to critical preventative health care,” Pouge concludes.

The state is asking the feds for a further $35 million in yearly Medicaid funds to go towards Healthy Texas Women — funds that it forfeited beneath the Obama Administration for slicing Planned Parenthood. The ultimate draft of the state’s software will head to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for evaluation.

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