U.S. judge blocks Texas plans to cut Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds

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By Jon Herskovitz | AUSTIN, Texas

AUSTIN, Texas A U.S. judge in Austin issued a
preliminary injunction on Tuesday halting Texas’ plan to cut
Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, saying the state did
not present evidence of a program violation that would warrant
termination.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said state health officials, “likely acted to disenroll qualified health care providers from
Medicaid without cause.” He said the preliminary injunction will
preserve the court’s ability to render a meaningful decision on
the case’s merits.

“Such action would deprive Medicaid patients of their
statutory right to obtain health care from their chosen
qualified provider,” the judge wrote.

The reproductive healthcare group has said the threatened
funding cut, by terminating Planned Parenthood’s enrollment in
the state-funded healthcare system for the poor, could affect
nearly 11,000 patients across Texas as they try to access
services such as HIV and cancer screenings.

Texas and several other Republican-controlled states have
pushed to cut the organization’s funding since an anti-abortion
group released videos it said showed Planned Parenthood
officials negotiating prices for fetal tissue collected from
abortions.

Texas investigated Planned Parenthood over the videos and a
grand jury last January cleared it of any wrongdoing. The grand
jury indicted two people who made the videos for document fraud
but the charges were later dismissed.

Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing.



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