(AP) — Federal officials said Monday they’re taking a hard look at a new
Indiana law that withholds some public funding for Planned Parenthood of
Indiana, a development that could cost the state some of its Medicaid
The U.S. Centers
for Medicaid and Medicare Services issued a statement saying it was
reviewing Indiana’s law and situations in other states threatening to
withhold funds from abortion providers.
prohibits federal Medicaid dollars from being spent on abortion services.
Medicaid does not allow states to stop beneficiaries from getting care they
need - like cancer screenings and preventive care - because their provider
offers certain other services,” the agency said. “We are reviewing this
particular situation and situations in other states.”
given to The Associated Press on Monday, was first reported by The New York
appeared to pose the latest challenge to the contentious law signed by Gov.
Mitch Daniels on May 10. The law makes Indiana the first state to deny
Medicaid funds for general health services such as breast exams and Pap
smears and affects more than $1 million in Medicaid funding for Planned
Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum welcomed the federal review,
saying Monday that it might provide a second avenue of relief if a federal
judge decides not to grant the organization’s request to block the law.
Planned Parenthood argues in a federal lawsuit that statute is
noted that the secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services
Administration, which oversees Medicaid in Indiana, said last month that the
law could threaten $4 million in federal funds that help various
family-planning groups in Indiana.
General Greg Zoeller issued a statement Monday saying his office would
“continue to diligently represent” the state against Planned Parenthood’s
lawsuit. A hearing is set for June 6 before U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton
Pratt, who has said she would rule by July 1.
position is that Planned Parenthood could set up separate corporate entities
to provide abortions and Medicaid-eligible family planning services such
that tax dollars do not wind up subsidizing abortions indirectly,” Zoeller
Cockrum has said
establishing separate entities would be “logistically challenging” and there
was no guarantee that future Legislatures would not try to shut them down,
non-partisan Legislative Services Agency also raised questions about the
law. In a recent analysis, it noted that the Indiana Family and Social
Services Administration said federal law requires state Medicaid plans “to
provide any eligible individual medical assistance and that they can obtain
such assistance from any institution, agency, community pharmacy, or person,
qualified to perform the service(s) required.”
Cockrum said at
least six other states also were considering restrictions on abortion
It wasn’t clear
Monday to which “situations in other states” the CMS statement was
referring. But last week, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a law that will
require annual, unannounced inspections and impose new health and safety
rules on abortion clinics, and prevent such clinics from using telemedicine
systems to dispense pregnancy-terminating drugs.
In Texas, a plan
to overhaul Medicaid funding and disbursements would strip state funding to
all hospitals and clinics that perform abortions or “abortion-related
services.” The proposal has cleared that state House and is pending in the
Senate. States pay a share of Medicaid services.
Texas already block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid block grants
for family planning, said Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher, who is
representing the state against the organization’s lawsuit.
lawmakers wanted to cut all public funding to Planned Parenthood, but about
$1.5 million in Medicaid family planning block grants flows to Planned
Parenthood through a separate organization, and the new law does not affect
those funds. The total amount of Medicaid funding the law would strip from
Planned Parenthood for general health care services is about $1.4 million.
Parenthood said it will continue serving 9,300 Medicaid patients at its 28
health centers across Indiana through at least May 30 after receiving more
than $50,000 in recent donations from across the country and overseas.
legislative director for Indiana Right to Life, said she interpreted the CMS
statement to mean the federal agency did not want any beneficiaries to lose
health care services.
“The law is
clear — and case law may be clear — that Indiana has the right to choose the
vendors that they want,” Swayze said.