Tweets like the one below have the Web buzzing:
— AP Central U.S. (@APCentralRegion) February 21, 2017
Per the Associated Press, on Tuesday Western District Judge Sam Sparks issued a preliminary injunction blocking the state of Texas from halting Medicaid coverage of Planned Parenthood. The finding will keep the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) from taking further action until due process, via a full trial, takes place.
Judge Sparks said:
‘After reviewing the evidence currently in the record, the court finds the Inspector General, and thus HHSC, likely acted to disenroll qualified health care providers from Medicaid without cause. Such action would deprive Medicaid patients of their statutory right to obtain health care from their chosen qualified provider. The deprivation of that right is an irreparable injury in and of itself but could also disrupt the care of the 12,500 Texas Medicaid patients receiving services from Planned Parenthood.’
Simply put: The state of Texas does not have the right to determine where citizens seek care, as long as that care and provider meets medicaid and other government guidelines.
Ken Paxton (R), Texas Attorney General, issued a Donald Trump “See you in court,” style comment. As if going back to court will change the fact that Planned Parenthood offers Board certified and Medicaid OB/GYN and other services, Paxton cried:
‘The decision is disappointing and flies in the face of basic human decency.’
Since when did allowing people to choose where they seek medical care become a matter of “decency?”
The issue of Planned Parenthood funding is one of many hot topics, nationwide. However, the battle in Texas seems to be playing out on a larger scale.
The decision continues a long-running saga in the Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) first took steps to cut funding of Planned Parenthood after members of the group Center for Medical Progress produced videos that they claimed showed Planned Parenthood staff negotiating the prices of fetuses and the organs of aborted babies.
Although temporary, Judge Sparks’ order is a win for Planned Parenthood as it establishes a clear finding regarding patients’ right to choose where they obtain care. Moreover, Tuesday’s order sets a precedent for Planned Parenthood being legally confirmed as a provider of far more than just the abortions that pro-lifers try so hard to present as the extent of the work that Planned Parenthood does.
The irony is that among the top services that Planned Parenthood provides are birth control and education around healthy sexual practices, two preventive services that decrease healthcare, welfare programming and other costs. With all of the talk from Republicans across the country about dismantling the Affordable Care Act, reducing treatment prices, etc., you’d think they’d be more on board with supporting Planned Parenthood, as opposed to trying destroy the agency. However, supporting something that helps people is probably too much like right for this new regime of Republicans.
Featured Image via Getty/Stephen Brashear/Stringer