Federal Judge: Planned Parenthood Can Stay in Texas Medicaid Program Until Feb. 21

AUSTIN — U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Thursday temporarily stalled Texas' move to kick Planned Parenthood out of the state's Medicaid program, delaying it until Feb. 21. Sparks said his decision wasn't based on the merits of the case but was because of the timing of the ouster, which was scheduled for Saturday. Texas removed Planned Parenthood's affiliates from Medicaid in December, a year after first announcing intentions to cut off the provider. Planned Parenthood employees who testified earlier this week said the move would be devastating for the thousands of low-income women in Medicaid who rely on the non-profit for care."On behalf of the 11,000 patients we serve, we're thankful the judge has granted a temporary restraining order to allow us to stay in Medicaid," said Ken Lambrecht, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. "This has always been about our patients. We stand resolute to remain in this program because it's the right thing to do and because our patients rely upon us. ... We've been here in Dallas for 82 years and we're not going anywhere."Jami Snyder, who oversees Medicaid at the Health and Human Services Commission, said of the 4.3 million Texans enrolled in the program, 12,500 receive care from Planned Parenthood. While there are 141,000 providers in Medicaid, Snyder said Planned Parenthood clinics are the only providers in the program with the "family planning" label.   Continue reading...

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