Officials from the Agency for Health Care Administration held a public meeting yesterday in West Palm Beach to discuss the agency’s plans for the state’s Medicaid overhaul. Among a whole host of concerns raised during the meeting, was a little reported provision in the Medicaid reform bill that allows providers to opt out of providing family planning services under “moral or religious grounds.”
According to The Palm Beach Post:
Other speakers highlighted an amendment that allows some Medicaid health plans to refuse to cover family planning services if they have religious or moral objections. Such services would include contraception services.
Speaking for Planned Parenthood, Wellington-based Loren Londner predicted that unplanned and premature births will rise. More than one-third of all births in the state are paid for by Medicaid, she said. “If this legislation is about saving babies, then what the heck are we doing?” she asked.
As The Florida Independent has previously reported, this provision could bring federal scrutiny. Family planning services, including birth control, are federally mandated services.
AHCA recently told the Independent that their plans are “in compliance with federal requirements.”