The chickens come home to roost in Texas

How do you like them apples now, Governor Perry? This is what you get for disqualifying Planned Parenthood from Texas’s Women’s Health Program (funded largely by the federal government) because PP provides abortions (none of which are funded by federal dollars!).

The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday that it will cut off all Medicaid funding for family planning to the state of Texas, following Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) decision to implement a new law that excludes Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program.

Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations (CMSO), wrote Texas health officials a letter on Thursday explaining that the state broke federal Medicaid rules by discriminating against qualified family planning providers and thus would be losing the entire program, which provides cancer screenings, contraceptives and basic health care to 130,000 low-income women each year.

“We very much regret the state’s decision to implement this rule, which will prevent women enrolled in the program from receiving services from the trusted health care providers they have chosen and relied upon for their care,” she wrote. “In light of Texas’ actions, CMS is not in a position to extend or renew the current [Medicaid contract].” . . .

According to Medicaid law, Mann said, a state cannot restrict women’s ability to choose a provider simply because that provider offers separate services — in this case, abortion — that aren’t even paid for by the Medicaid program.

[Perry] vowed to continue the Women’s Health Program in Texas without Planned Parenthood and without federal money, although he has yet to outline how his state will come up with money.

Good luck with that, Governor!

Once again, the Bible wins and women lose. But isn’t that always the case?  How many women will die from undetected cancers because of Perry’s boneheaded and religiously motivated policy?

h/t: Grania

70 Comments

  1. Marella
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    How much money is this that Texas will lose and where is the funding to come from for the State to provide these services? I thought Texas was already bankrupt. But of course the likes of Perry don’t care, it’s only the poor and females who suffer, they are twice unimportant.

    • Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      As a non-Texas independent I read, “But of course the likes of…” most Texas voters “… don’t care, it’s only the poor and females who suffer, they are twice unimportant.”

    • rmw
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      You forgot many of them are also brown people. So make that triply unimportant. Or in the eyes of GOP, not even human. 😦

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted March 18, 2012 at 3:57 am | Permalink

        Medicaid “provides cancer screenings, contraceptives and basic health care to 130,000 low-income women each year.”

        Now why would Governor Perry give a rat’s ass about people like that? They don’t want to get pregnant, they should just not do it, like good Christians. They want health care, they should stop being poor. They’re probably all lousy Democrats anyway.

        I expect Governor Perry likes them apples just fine. Regrettably.

    • Randi
      Posted March 18, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Texas is no where near broke. We have actually done really well during this recession.
      But that doesn’t mean that Perry isn’t a bible thumping bigot, because he is.
      This pisses me off!! I hate that guy!

      • Posted March 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Done well… Yet there are grade schools no longer handing out text books — in science! Kids might — or might not — get to access them inside the classroom, but while the teacher is talking? How rude!

  2. Tom W.
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Folks, these theocrats have got to be thrown out of office before this country is so screwed up there is no saving it

    • Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      That horse left the barn many years ago.

      • Mike Lee
        Posted March 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

        Is this the prick – sorry, I meant Rick – who arranged a “pray for rain” evangelical get-together, but “god” wasn’t listening and so the drought got worse… You know, these Christians have got to learn from the Muslims; it’s “God Willing” that has be invoked every time you talk to him…

        • raven
          Posted March 18, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

          Yeah.

          It’s also the same Rick Perry who cut wildfire fire fighting funds right in the middle of the worst drought in decades.

          Then a large part of Texas caught on fire and burned for weeks.

  3. Steve Smith
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I hope that women will arrive in numbers at the ballot box to rescue us from these ignorant bigots.

    • Marg
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      The texan women are not going to the ballto box to save women. thye only do wahtever the hubby tells them. like good lil stepford women.

      • Tall teacher
        Posted March 18, 2012 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        I’m a Texas woman and I am definitely voting straight ticket Democrat, along with my “hubby.” please don’t think we are all ignorant down here!

        • rmw
          Posted March 18, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          Thank you, Tall Teacher. I do think there is legitimate concern that plenty of women (and not just in Texas) will vote against themselves because they have it firmly fixed in their minds that they’ll never need state aid, and women who get abortions are sluts, while they are good people (presumably Christian) who would never need an abortion.

        • Diane G.
          Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

          Texas women: Anne Richards, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan…

          You have some heritage to be proud of!

  4. Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what we all should expect more of in the future as the lunatics – state by freakin’ state – get possession of the keys to the asylum.

    I weep for future generations.

  5. Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The reliably wonderful Gail Collins just weighed in on the wild variety of strange anti-woman laws that have popped up in state legislatures all over the country. I’ve never been able to figure out how she can write so seriously about such significant stuff, and make me laugh. Here’s her piece: Politicians Swinging Stethoscopes – NYTimes.com.

  6. Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Sorry — that link I put in doesn’t link. This one should:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/opinion/collins-politicians-swinging-stethoscopes.html?scp=2&sq=Gail%20Collins&st=cse

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Gotta love Gail!

  7. MadScientist
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I doubt Rick Perry gives a shit about the low-income folks who need these services. Perry will go on babbling about how wonderful Jeeezus is while the Texas underdogs suffer – presumably to provide amusement for Perry’s god.

    • Tim
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. I KNOW Perry doesn’t give a shit about low-income people needing services. Texas often throws away federal matching funds: “In 2003 the Texas legislature tightened eligibility requirements for Medicaid and reduced state matching money for the CHIP program to help cover a budget shortfall. Tens of thousands of previously insured or eligible children became ineligible for coverage…” – and they lost much more in federal money than they saved!

      Jerry, Rick Perry couldn’t care less ’bout them apples. The overriding emotion that fuels southern GOP politics is resentment. If you ask a southern redneck. “Even if your own health care expenses were lowered and your quality of care were improved, would you favor single-payer health care?”, the answer would be “No.” They’d give you some kind of BS about socialism, but what it comes down to is this: Southern rednecks are convinced that there are hordes of ‘freeloaders’ who are getting away with something. They’d punish themselves and their own families if they thought it would stick it to the ‘freeloaders’.

      • bacopa
        Posted March 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Immediately after spouting off about their fears of socialized medicine they turn around and take their kids to the Harris County Hospital District clinic and brag about how Ben Taub Trauma Center saved cousin Bubba’s life when he got shot in a drunken brawl.

        And I should know. Lost my job and insurance a while back. First thing I did was get an HCHD Gold Card. Heard plenty of people at the clinic expressing their gratitude for our local taxpayer supported health care system.

    • raven
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      I doubt Rick Perry gives a shit about the low-income folks who need these services.

      Probably not. Perry isn’t very bright

      But he should. PP is targeted to young and low income people. Without access to affordable birth control, there will be more unplanned pregnancies.

      Some of those will end up on welfare of one sort or another, WIC, foodstamps etc.. Texas already has the one of the highest rates of children in poverty at 25% and high and increasing rates of teenage pregnancy, another indicator of life long poverty.

      Texas can pay for birth control now, or pay to raise a bunch of poor kids for their first 18 years.

      They will pay whether they like it or not. Either pay to raise those kids, or pay to arrest and jail them when poor, starving, not well socialized young people commit crimes and get arrested.

      • Tim
        Posted March 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        This argument never seems to make any impression on Republicans.

        • raven
          Posted March 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          True.

          But nothing that makes sense ever makes any impression on the GOP either.

          They should though. California is in a perpetual budget crisis. One of the drivers is their expensive, large, and ever expanding prison system.

        • PeteJohn
          Posted March 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          The dumbasses actually think that their dogma of personal responsibility allows one to completely overcome one’s own circumstances through nothing more than willpower. They also think that law enforcement is a perfectly legitimate use of tax money. I also suspect many of them believe black/poor/Latino/immigrants deserve to be in jail merely for being not pasty white evangelical KKK members.

          • PeteJohn
            Posted March 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            “They also think that law enforcement is a perfectly legitimate use of tax money.”

            I meant to write “They also think that law enforcement is one of the few perfectly legitimate uses of tax money.”

            Oops.

      • rmw
        Posted March 18, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Given the rate of incarceration in the US, this is probably a feature, not a bug.

    • Mike Lee
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      I think he’s just another “cynical political opportunist” using religion to garner votes because that’s what the bible thumping, superstitious and ignorant voters in Texas want to hear!

  8. Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on evolution of skepticism and commented:
    I used to live in Texas, my daughter was about 3 years old at the time and we did depend on Medicaid at the time due to my job not being able to provide sufficient income for us to live on and pay for medical insurance. Seeing this makes me happy that I don’t live in the Bible belt anymore. It is amazing that while I was there I found out there were almost as many gentlemen’s clubs as there were churches in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

    Why can’t we let women chose what they will do to their body? I have known a woman who has gone through an abortion, she said it was painful and probably one of the worst experiences of her life. Women aren’t going and getting these because they are fun or a fad, they have real reasons and we need to respect that. In this situation young women, like my daughter is so quickly becoming, that will be the victims of these decisions. Not to mention the thousands of families in Texas that depend on federally funded health care to keep them from being fined by the “Universal Healthcare” plan we are going to be having to answer to in only a couple years.

    • rmw
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately, the religious motivation behind this kind of crap is the desire to see women suffer, as has been ordained by their God and their interpretation of the Bible. There seems to be a sincere and honest attempt to get as close to a biblical society as possible. That means women aren’t even considered second-class citizens; we’re property, to do with as our husbands or fathers see fit.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

      Pretty much everyone knows someone who has had an abortion. They just don’t know that they do. (As it used to be for gays, you can’t tell just by lookin’, and most women aren’t volunteering the information.)

  9. Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    This is very disturbing. I am very glad I no longer live in Texas.

  10. John
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I continue to be confused as to why any sane person, assuming they have the means to leave, would want to live in the bible belt.

    • Tim
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Well, there are reasons, though I am definitely conflicted at times:

      1. Just because you move away, it doesn’t mean the downsides of the bible belt go away. You’ve just moved them out of sight.

      2. The redneck differential is not as pronounced as you might think. An asshole like Scott Walker can get elected in Wisconsin, Michelle Bachmann is from Minnesota, and Rick Santorum was a Senator in Pennsylvania. I had my fist acquaintance with wealthy nutjob ‘John Birch Society’ assholes in Washington state.

      3. There are good places in the midst of the bible belt. For all the criticism heaped on College Station TX, it is a pretty decent place to live and Austin is downright pleasant most of the time. I once visited Oxford, Mississippi and was very pleasantly surprised.

      • Diane G.
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink

        Very well said.

        And it can actually be very hard to relocate, depending on many factors. While you’re still in school, maybe not so much. But get a job, a mortgage, have some kids…lots of factors to, uh, factor in…

        (Did I mention factors?)

  11. Posted March 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Trust me, they’ll find some way to blame this on Obama instead of taking responsibility for their own actions.

    • John
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Of course they will. I can see the Hanity segment now – “Obama’s healthcare law overreaches again – how the liberals are destroying America!”

  12. Jim Jones
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    What do you expect from a ‘man’ who lets innocent or potentially innocent people be executed because it’s popular with the idiots who vote for him?

    • Posted March 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      “Pro-Life” — in the womb and at the military recruitment offices, only.

  13. Filippo
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Will it come to this:

    Employer to employee: (in my best Haley Barbour imitation)

    “Ah heerd thru thuh grapevine that yew refuze to submit to yore husband’s authority at home, in violation of Saaaiiint Paaawwwll’s directive in thuh New Tes-ta-ment. That offends mah delicate religious sensibilities and violates mah religious beliefs. If yew don’t stop that, Ah will far yew. Git ‘er dun!”

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      “far”

      😀

      Spot on!

  14. Dermot C
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    As a British socialist, I read your despairing remarks about Texas and the Bible belt with something approaching incredulity; is it really that bad in the South? Does the religious right wing really have that strong a grip in that region? Or is the general tenor of these threads too pessimistic?

    I don’t see political or social ideas as dots on a spectrum along which individuals move incrementally, as it were; can you Americans not envisage that social attitudes amongst people in the South can change rapidly and en masse? Or do you not see that as likely?

    In Britain, we had a politician called Tony Benn, generally thought of as far left and to the left of most Brits, but who was extremely articulate, transparently honest and willing to say what most of his audience would disagree with, yet he was one of our most popular and respected politicians because of those qualities; and he was an MP for 50 years and a Cabinet Minister.

    Is it not possible that you are being too downcast?

    • rmw
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Given that legislation and policies that are blatantly misogynistic, and that these policies are being undertaken in the name of religion, I don’t think Jerry and commentators are being overly pessimistic. The US is an extremely religious country, especially compared to Britain. So religiously-motivated legislation and policies play well to the evangelicals and fundamentalists, especially during an election year. My hope is that the GOP gets so badly trounced at the polls, they won’t attempt something like this again. Only time will tell, but given the current tenor of politics in this country, I feel justified in feeling rather downcast about the whole thing.

    • CarlosT
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      “Is it not possible that you are being too downcast?”

      No. The situation really is that bad.

      • S A GOULD
        Posted March 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it really really is.

  15. raven
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    As a British socialist, I read your despairing remarks about Texas and the Bible belt with something approaching incredulity; is it really that bad in the South?

    Yes.

    Probably even worse than you can imagine.

    • Dermot C
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      I can sort of imagine the problem, raven, as my culturally Catholic dad from Derry was shot by his own side, as it were, and forced into exile into England. I’m imagining the collapse of authority of the Catholic Church in Ireland, as analogous to the perspective of the implosion of the influence of the Baptist Church in the American South.

      You anti-religious Americans have a much bigger problem, as you inhabit the hub of a powerful empire, in contrast to the relatively puny reach of a post-colonial semi-state like Ireland. The US religiose have therefore far more resources on which to rely; so, I would expect to see, in the decline of the US empire, far more internecine strife. Both sides – the religious and the secular – have huge cultural and intellectual capital; the struggle could be drawn out in your case, as opposed to the rapid transformation in social ideas in Ireland. But Grania Spingies might want to comment on that.

      • Grania Spingies
        Posted March 18, 2012 at 5:09 am | Permalink

        Well yes, the US does have a much more challenging road ahead than Ireland. Displays of religiosity don’t really impress many people here and many of those who declare themselves Catholic for cultural reasons aren’t interested in following rules of the Church if they don’t suit i.e. contraception, divorce, having a lie-in on Sunday mornings.

        In addition we have a new-ish government that is prepared to take on the Vatican over a number of past injustices in spite of being comprised of members who are Catholic themselves.

        That said, there is a long way to go to get rid of old religiously-inspired laws and regulations, and sometimes progress is frustratingly slow.

  16. David Leech
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    We in the UK look forward to granting the strong intelligent women of the USA political asylum, you can keep the Stepford women as they are a bit creepy.

    • Posted March 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Lovely invitation. Might have to look into that. Of course, I’d have to leave Texas to get there…

  17. bacopa
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    So what about men who might be on Medicaid; Can they still go to Planned Parenthood? Yes, med do go there. I’ve been there. Nothing a little acetic acid paste couldn’t take care of at a very reasonable cost without insurance.

    But it’s really the attitude behind this that pisses me off the most. Pure pandering to the right wing base, but then the GOP seems to be mostly about delighting in suffering these days.

    I wonder if Planned Parenthood Texas can make up the funding gap. Plenty of rich supporters here in Texas. And the plight of those women on Medicaid might not be so bad. Women with Medicaid have other options than Planned Parenthood. I think the main point of Perry’s move is not so much to deny women coverage, but to reduce Planned Parenthood’s revenue. Medicaid patients subsidize cash patients, and cash patients are PP’s main clients.

    Perry’s got to go. Kay Baily Hutchison tried to take him out in the primaries, and Bill White tried his best to beat him in the general. What two stronger candidates could there be?

  18. ahannaasmi
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    In the one of the corridors of our computer science department buildings, there used to be a sign saying:

    Please “do not” use quotation marks for emphasis.

    Please do not use quotation marks for emphasis.

  19. Arnie
    Posted March 18, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe how stupid people are being when saying that this will make women vote the other way, if that would be the case they wouldn’t vote for extremists in the first place.

  20. Posted March 18, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    Vulnerable poor women lose cancer screening? Not good.

  21. Grania Spingies
    Posted March 18, 2012 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Not good at all.
    While I think the CMSO made the only decision it could under the circumstances, I shudder for the poor women who will bare the brunt of this.

    I hope that moderates in Texas (even the Republican ones) will kick their current incumbents to the kerb. This is what far-right ultra-conservative, religiously-inspired law-making gets you.

    • rmw
      Posted March 18, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      I’m hoping to see this on the national level come November. People like Perry and Santorum (to name but a few) need to be relegated to the fringe, where they can be either ignored or mocked. My fear is they will win a number of important elections, and if that’s case…you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  22. Michael Hopkins
    Posted March 18, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    “How many women will die from undetected cancers because of Perry’s boneheaded and religiously motivated policy?”

    What is wrong with that? After all women are not people unless they are unborn or have been into a corporation.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 19, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink

      Are women people? It’s unclear:

      http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/07/subject-for-debate-are-women-people/

      • Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Perhaps we women better get incorporated. After all, corporations are people, and we wannabe people, too.

        • Filippo
          Posted March 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Concur, inasmuch as in this contemporary Amuricun society “Corporations are people, my friend,” and flesh-and-blood humans are “resources” or “capital.”

          I’ll believe corporations are people when a corporation can be conscripted, like flesh-and-blood human beings, into the military to go in harm’s way to possibly be killed or maimed for life.

          • Posted March 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            And at cheap labor prices with vanishing veterans’ benefits, too.

        • Diane G.
          Posted March 20, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

          Brilliant!

  23. David
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Texas shows the way in how to force unbelievably stupid, sexist, and worthless Bible principles down the throats of Americans. It often takes only religion to turn average people into completely incompetent fools.

    I am beginning to hate religion and to hate religious people who have political power and use them together: all they have demonstrated so far is that they know how to destroy lives and communities. They are turning themselves into detestable, despicable, dishonorable humans for Jesus’ sake. Why? Because they choose to believe life destroying myths instead of readily available life affirming facts. The mind-numbingly stupid, Dark-Ages myth behind this current leap into insanity is this: fundamentalists believe that at the moment an egg is fertilized by a sperm, it is a “human”, a “baby”. And they believe this insane nonsense despite the fact that if it were true, then God Himself murders, always has murdered, and always will murder about 70% of all such “babies” before they are born. Their stupid myth makes their own God a permanent infant murderer of massive proportions!!!! It is not surprising then that when these cretins get their Dark-Ages myth-laden hands on government, they forcibly make their religion a disease and their actions destructive of human life and thriving. I wonder what destructive insanity these fools will dream up next.

    • Posted March 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Armageddon by way of Israel. They support Israel in the sense that converting Jews into “Messianic Jews” (Jewish style Christians) and moving them “back” to Israel will help bring the second coming. They also believe that we have nukes in order to initiate Armageddon and force the second coming. And that is why their positions of power within the US military is so deadly and frightening. By “they”, I refer to Dominionists, the fundamentals who belief their god gave them the duty to take over the world, especially at taxpayer expense via the US military.


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