- The State of Texas provides funding to the Medicaid Women's Health Program (the "Program"). That program pays some of the medical bills of poor Texas women who qualify as in need of financial assistance
- It pays for things like family planning, birth control, cancer screenings and annual exams.
- The Program is funded by only 10% from the State of Texas and 90% by the federal government. The federal government's share is around $35 million.
- The Program does not pay for abortion services. (Read that three times. It's kind of important.)
- However, 40% of the women assisted by the Program get their non-abortion health care needs from Planned Parenthood. That about 60,000 females.
- But although the Program has nothing to do with abortion, and the money the Program provides to Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with abortion, the Republicans in Austin all screamed "We've got an abortion issue here!!!!"
- So . . . your Texas Legislature, wishing to make some political hay out of thin air, created a rule (which became effective today) that it would not provide its 10% share to the Program if Planned Parenthood receives a single dime from the Program.
- The federal government, believing that to prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving funding from the Program is a violation of federal law, announced it would no longer provide its 90% to the Program if the Texas rule was allowed to go into effect.
- Today is D Day for the Program. Texas ignored the federal government's threat and will not provide its 10% of funds -- yep, those funds that have nothing to do with abortion. The federal government will now discontinue its $35 million to the Program.
- The victims, as a result of all this posturing, are poor Texas women.
- Rick Perry blames President Obama (surprise!) and utters the only thing he knows how to say when gets into a bind: "State's rights!"
at 12:20 PM