Rick Perry: We’ll Pay For Our New Women’s Health Program With the Medicaid Funds I Said I’d Reject

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Rick Perry: We’ll Pay For Our New Women’s Health Program With the Medicaid Funds I Said I’d Reject

Robin Marty

Is he or isn't Perry rejecting the Medicaid expansion?  Maybe even Perry doesn't know.

As soon as the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, conservative governors began puffing out their chests, claiming they were ready to reject federal funding for expansion of Medicaid.

The most eager governor to make it clear he would turn the money down? Texas Republican Rick Perry. But how will Perry pay for his new “Planned Parenthood-free” Texas Women’s Health Program?

Oh, yeah. Medicaid expansion money.

Via The Hill:

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The GOP governor wants to create a new program funded entirely by the state, so that he can cut off all access to Planned Parenthood.

A new program, though, would be expensive. In trying to downplay the cost, Perry’s administration said the state-run alternative won’t need much funding because “all clients will be eligible for Medicaid following the expansion of the Medicaid program” under the Affordable Care Act.

As Planned Parenthood notes, however, Perry has publicly said Texas will not participate in the Medicaid expansion.

This comes on the announcement that even more Texas medical professionals growing concerned that the rule against “promoting” abortion will essentially bind their hands when it comes to trying to confer with their patients.  Texas Tribune reports:

In a letter to the Department of State Health Services on Friday, the Texas Medical Association, along with four other groups representing a combined 47,000 physicians and medical students, wrote that the rule would jeopardize medical ethics and doctors’ relationships with their patients. They argued doctors might leave the program as a result of the rule, putting the already embattled program at risk.

“The relationship between patient and physician is based on trust and creates the physician’s ethical obligations to place the patient’s welfare above his or her own personal politics, self-interest and above obligations to other groups,” the letter states.

State health officials responded in a written statement, saying they appreciate the groups’ concerns and will carefully review all the input they get on the proposed rule. “We understand that doctors have certain professional obligations to their patients, and we want to ensure that the rule allows doctors to meet those obligations,” Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said.

Medical professionals hate the new program. Perry hasn’t explained how to pay for it. And as Andrea Grimes reporting for Rewire reveals, the state health system does not have the capacity to accommodate all the women in need of care. The only thing that seems certain at this point is that the uninsured women of Texas are on the verge of being left out in the cold.