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STATEMENT: Anti-Abortion Texas Politicians Continue to Ignore Essential Components of Women’s Health Program

January 22, 2020

Trump Administration Ignores Medicaid Rules and funds disappointing and discriminatory Texas family planning program

Opens door for other States to do the same

Austin, TX – “Governor Greg Abbott today issued the following statement regarding the Trump administration’s approval of the 1115 Waiver for Healthy Texas Women, reestablishing the federal partnership for Texas’ women’s health program.” [ KVEO, January 22, 2020]

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Aimee Arrambide issued the following statement:

The Trump administration’s ideological and dangerous move today to approve the 9-to-1 match to the failed and continuously rebranded Healthy Texas Women Medicaid program incentives other states to follow under Texas’ steps.

In 2011, the state ignored federal guidelines and pushed Planned Parenthood out of the family planning program, turning down the 9 to 1 federal dollar match and essentially dismantling the state’s reproductive healthcare safety net.

The state rebranded the Medicaid Women’s Health program to the state-run Healthy Texas Women. Since 2013, unburdened by the historic and reasoned Medicaid rules for effective healthcare delivery the Healthy Texas Women program has failed to deliver healthcare at the same capacity and has wasted millions of dollars, that it is now trying to claw back, to the fraud and abuse of its handpicked contractors.

Influenced by an anti-abortion agenda and without regard to the fiscal responsibility or medical efficacy of the programs, Trump and Abbott are putting politics over people, and Texans will continue to suffer the consequences.

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Healthy Texas Women Background:

  • January 2007 – Medicaid Women’s Health Program launches. The Federal government pays $9 out of every $10 of the program.

  • March 2011 – Targeting Planned Parenthood, the state rejects the federal government’s guidelines and 9 to 1 matching dollars. The state budget for women’s health and family planning is slashed by 2/3rds, essentially dismantling the women’s health safety net in the state. 82 clinics specializing in preventive healthcare close, the majority of which were rural, independent providers.

  •  January 2o13 – Texas Women’s Health Program, a state-run program that prohibits trusted providers like Planned Parenthood from participating, launches. In 2013 claims for contraception under the new program had dropped by 50 percent compared to claims under the federal program in 2011.

  • May 2016 – Carol Everett applies to be a part of the state-run family planning programs. She sends an email to anti-abortion activists detailing how she was pushing for millions to help ‘poor women of Texas’ and said: “It is no exaggeration to say this is the greatest possibility for expansion of pro-life care for the poor ever.”

  • August 2017 – As reports come out about the Heidi Group not meeting its targets, the state announces it will reallocate more than $4 million originally given to them.

  • October 2018 – The state announces that it will end its contract with the Heidi Group after an investigation from The Texas Observer showed that Carol Everett’s organization only served 3,300 patients out of the 70,000 promised.

  • November 2019 – The Heidi Group is ordered to pay back $1.5 million.

  • January 2020 – Trump administration ignores federal Medicaid rules, allowing the failed Healthy Texas Women to receive a 9 to 1 match.