Despite claims that the new Texas Women’s Health Program–the state program built so that Governor Perry and conservative legislators can pontificate about banning abortion “affiliates” from participation–would launch November 1st with a stable full of providers ready and willing to see the 50,000 patients that would otherwise get care at Planned Praenthood, will not actually launch tomorrow. But it’s totally ready to do so! It just won’t. Because … because.
No, Texas will continue to take federal funds for the Medicaid Women’s Health Program–funds that will run out at the end of 2012 because the Center for Medicaid Services has said it won’t fund a program that bars Planned Parenthood, which it considers to be a qualified health care provider, while Texas does not.
Possibly because there aren’t actually enough non-Planned Parenthood providers ready to see patients? Possibly because Texas is scrambling to find the nearly $40 million it needs to fund the program, which has been historically funded at 90 percent by the feds? Who knows. The only thing that’s clear is that Rick Perry seems to like holding women’s health hostage to score political points.