States Extend Medicaid For Birth Control, Cutting Costs — And Future Enrollment

The Trump administration is weighing whether to allow Texas to receive millions of federal Medicaid dollars for its family planning program, which bars abortion providers.

The Lone Star State eliminated its Medicaid-funded family planning program five years ago when state officials said they wanted to specifically exclude Planned Parenthood because the group provides abortions. Dozens of women’s health clinics closed as Texas established a wholly state-funded program that officials say today serves 220,000 women.

Medicaid’s family planning program is optional for states and used by half of them to provide contraception services for low-income women who earn too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid.

Texas, Iowa and Missouri gave up that federal money to avoid supporting groups that offer abortion. Planned Parenthood says it does not use any government money for abortions.

Texas is the first state to appeal to a more conservative White House to restore the funds. The federal government has historically declined to provide Medicaid dollars to states that don’t allow patients to choose between “any willing provider.” Texas is asking for a change in that position.

– KHN

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