The Texas legislature has passed an omnibus health reform bill that’s a cacophony of regressive conservative polices: 1) it establishes an illegal health care compact that would “allow Texas to partner with other states to ask the federal government for control — both fiscal and governmental — over both Medicare and Medicaid,” 2) block grants the Medicaid program, 3) prevents hospital districts that use tax revenue to finance an abortion from receiving state funding, and 4) denies funds to Planned Parenthood clinics that offer abortions. If signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry (R), Texas will become the largest state to defund Planned Parenthood.
Below is the relevant abortion language:
The department shall ensure that money spent for purposes of the demonstration project for women s’ health care services under former Section 32.0248, Human Resources Code, or a similar successor program is not used to perform or promote elective abortions, or to contract with entities that perform or promote elective abortions or affiliate with entities that perform or promote elective abortions.
The final Medicaid language would task the state with privatizing the program and shifting the costs of coverage to individuals in the form of greater cost sharing:
(3)encourage use of the private health benefits coverage market rather than public benefits systems;
(4)encourage people who have access to private employer-based health benefits to obtain or maintain those benefits;
(5)create a culture of shared financial responsibility, accountability, and participation in the Medicaid program by:
(A)establishing and enforcing copayment requirements similar to private sector principles for all eligibility groups;
(B)promoting the use of health savings accounts to influence a culture of individual responsibility; and
(C)promoting the use of vouchers for consumer-directed services in which consumers manage and pay for health-related services provided to them using program vouchers;
(6)consolidate federal funding streams, including funds from the disproportionate share hospitals and upper payment limit supplemental payment programs and other federal Medicaid funds, to ensure the most effective and efficient use of those funding streams;