Saturday, June 11, 2011

Editorial Board: "[Kansas] State defied logic, law" @ The Wichita Eagle


The Kansas Legislature defied logic in voting this past session to block federal funding to Planned Parenthood. According to a Medicaid bulletin issued last week, it also defied federal law — and potentially put billions of dollars of federal funding at risk.

Not smart.

Federal law already prohibits Medicaid funding of abortion except in extraordinary circumstances. What’s more, the Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood in Kansas went to health and family planning clinics in Wichita and Hays that don’t provide abortions.

Nonetheless, state lawmakers approved a bill — which Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law — that stripped about $300,000 in funding from Planned Parenthood.

Critics argued that defunding these clinics could hurt the health of women and lead to more unplanned pregnancies and, as a result, more abortions. But lawmakers and Brownback didn’t seem to care. They don’t want tax money going anywhere near Planned Parenthood, regardless of how it is used.

But last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a bulletin warning that states “may not exclude qualified health care providers — whether an individual provider, a physician group, an outpatient clinic or a hospital — from providing services that are funded under the program because they separately provide abortion services.” Doing so, the bulletin noted, violates the “free choice of provider” provision of federal law.

Read more at: The Wichita Eagle

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