A Texas 1115 Medicaid family planning demonstration proposal that would tie coverage to an exclusion of Planned Parenthood would severely constrain access for covered women, thereby defeating, rather than advancing, Medicaid’s core objectives. This conclusion is contained in an analysis carried out by researchers from the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the George Washington University (GW) Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH). The analysis was submitted as part of public comments to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
The comments document that the state’s 73 community health center grantees—critical primary care providers in medically underserved urban and rural communities—would be unable to expand services quickly enough to offset the capacity that would be lost were the state to deny some 700,000 newly insured women the ability to use their family planning coverage at Planned Parenthood clinics.
“Health centers would need roughly two decades of expansion growth simply to replace the care lost by the exclusion of Planned Parenthood from the demonstration,” said Dr. Sara Rosenbaum, a co-author of the comments and the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy at Milken Institute SPH. “Cutting out a health care provider serving over one-quarter of those who depend on publicly funded clinics for preventive care and birth control runs directly contrary to the central purpose of 1115 Medicaid demonstrations—to improve care, not impede it.”GW