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.”

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One particularly heated debate during the current election is the battle over Amendments 5 and 6, which, if passed, would create stricter rules for legislators to follow while redrawing state districts. Protect Your Vote, a political action committee founded in order to campaign against the amendments, argues that 5 and 6 would make redistricting a long and costly process and would result in a decrease in minority representation in Congress and the Florida legislature. But a look at the leadership behind Protect Your Vote raises questions about the organization's motives.