DHHS Doubles Down On Indiana Over Planned Parenthood Funding

My, my, oh my…..the true character of the present administration is definitely revealing itself!!!

Last week, we saw an example of the Department of Justice and Transit Security Administration applying economic terrorism to “double down” in its dealing with the state of Texas. Today, we see yet another example of this tactic coming out of the Obama administration, directed at the state of Indiana.

All of this is in response to Indiana’s new law (House Bill 1210) that bars funding for Planned Parenthood.

In a letter sent to Indiana’s Medicaid director, Medicaid Administrator Donald M. Berwick said Indiana’s plan will improperly bar beneficiaries from receiving services. Federal law requires Medicaid beneficiaries to be able to obtain services from any qualified provider.

“Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care providers from providing services that are funded under the program because of a provider’s scope of practice,” Berwick wrote in a letter to Patricia Cassanova, the director of Indiana’s office of Medicaid Policy and Planning. “Such a restriction would have a particular effect on beneficiaries’ ability to access family planning providers.”

The argument being presented by the Department of Health and Human Services is that “states may bar providers from participating in Medicaid in certain circumstances, such as if a provider is committing fraud or criminal acts”, but the same states are not “permitted to exclude providers from the program solely on the basis of the range of medical services they provide.”

In essence, people of Indiana, even if every citizen of your state rose and shouted with a singular voice that they do not want to perpetuate a trend of increasing abortions and low quality care for pregnant women in your state, as far as the federal government is concerned…hey, that just isn’t your choice to make. The federal government, particularly among the executive branch, will be exercising its rights to ensure that you conform to the scope of laws that they define for you. And if you don’t conform, there will be consequences, see?

During debate on the bill, FSSA Secretary Michael Gargano had expressed concerns that it would run afoul of federal Medicaid policy and jeopardize the annual $4 million the state receives in Medicaid family planning funds.

Federal Medicaid officials seemed to suggest that the stakes are even higher.

“We fully expect that the state will follow federal law that sets the conditions for its receipt of over $4 billion in federal Medicaid funds,” said one federal Medicaid official.

That $4 billion pays for not only reproductive health care but also services for children, the disabled and the elderly.

Under the current pro-abortion, pro-rationing, pro-totalitarian administration, standing up against abortion and the new-and-improved nanny-state-health-care-system bureaucrats is a major No-No. They apparently are going to make sure that they send this message home to the leaders of various states, no matter what it takes. The response by Planned Parenthood Federation President, Cecile Richards, made that message loud and clear…

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the letter “a strong rebuke to Indiana” and said it “serves as a warning to other states that attempts to bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood violate Medicaid law.”

Yes, yes, we can all see how good and wise she is, can’t we? Oh, and Donald Berwick as well, for that matter. They would be devastated to see all the children, poor and elderly of the state suffer just so Planned Parenthood can get that $1.3 million per year that its entitled to, but if that’s what it takes…oh, well.  (/sarc)

Just another example of “doubling down”, Chicago style. That’s how the “rule of man” works. Nothing to see here, right?

Berwick has given the state of Indiana 60 days to appeal. The state of Indiana is standing its ground for now, reviewing the legislation that has been written, trying to determine what options the state may or may not have at the present time.

To Indiana, Kansas and other states considering implementing laws of this sort, Cindy Mann, the director of the Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey & Certification, provided the key to what it will take to succeed….

“states may bar providers from participating in Medicaid in certain circumstances, such as if a provider is committing fraud or criminal acts”

Seems like a heard quite a bit floating around not long ago about illegal activity within the walls of Planned Parenthood…hmmm, I wonder if that counts???