The Washington Post reported this week that Indiana could lose out on some Medicaid funding from the federal government because of the state’s efforts to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Other states planning to cut funding for preventative health services for women, Florida for example, might also face similar scrutiny from the federal government.
Florida state legislators stripped a federal mandate from the state’s Medicaid overhaul that required service providers to offer family planning services. If instituted, Florida’s Medicaid reform program will allow providers to choose to not provide family planning services such as birth control due to “moral or religious grounds.”
According to a statement from the U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, “Medicaid does not allow states to stop beneficiaries from getting the care they need – like cancer screenings and preventive care.”
The Post reported:
[Medicaid and Medicare Services’] review appeared to pose the latest challenge to the contentious law signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels on May 10. The law makes Indiana the first state to deny Medicaid funds for general health services such as breast exams and Pap smears and affects more than $1 million in Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood.
The state’s non-partisan Legislative Services Agency also raised questions about the law. In a recent analysis, it noted that the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration said federal law requires state Medicaid plans “to provide any eligible individual medical assistance and that they can obtain such assistance from any institution, agency, community pharmacy, or person, qualified to perform the service(s) required.
Basically, Medicaid plans must include a way for every provider to offer every eligible person the same medical assistance and preventative care. As it stands, it is not clear that Florida’s plan does this.
Stephanie Kunkel, a spokeswoman for the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, told The Florida Independent that the Medicaid overhaul’s proposal is “unprecedented.” She said no other state allows a provider to completely opt-out of providing a federally mandated service like family planning.
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services said they will monitor the situation in Indiana, as well as the situation in other states.