HHS disapproves of Indiana’s plan to block Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has rejected a law signed by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) that prohibits Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funding in the state.
The Health and Human Services Department is telling the state of Indiana that its Medicaid plan, which bans funding to Planned Parenthood, is illegal and must be changed.
In a letter sent to Indiana’s Medicaid director, and obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Medicaid Administrator Donald M. Berwick says Indiana’s plan will improperly bar Medicaid beneficiaries from receiving services. Berwick writes that federal law requires Medicaid beneficiaries to be able to obtain services from any provider qualified to provide services.
The notification comes after Indiana passed a law banning federal funding to Planned Parenthood, and as other states consider similar bans. Indiana can change its plan to conform with federal law, or the state could face penalties.
The American Independent has followed the legislation closely, including the general confusion in the state among legislators, government analysts and the governor’s office itself regarding the implications of such a law and dubious claims made by politicians regarding available family planning services that could replace Planned Parenthood of Indiana.