TCC Supports Governor Abbott and Commissioner Traylor in Terminating Medicaid Funding of Planned Parenthood

In a letter to Governor Abbott and Commissioner Traylor, Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) members expressed support for the decision to end Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas:

Based on the evidence presented in the Inspector General’s (IG) notice, we agree that Planned Parenthood affiliates “are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal, and ethical manner.”

Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid violations are serious and several: altering the timing and method of abortion, in violation of federal law, in order to procure fetal tissue; failing to abide by public health precautions that prevent the spread of infectious disease; and failing to abide by mandatory staff training requirements.  These violations were partially demonstrated in video footage released earlier this year by the Center for Medical Progress.  Having seen those recordings, some of which were filmed in Houston, we ardently feel that there must be consequences for revealed practices that not only shock the conscience, but are also against the law.  The termination, thus, strikes us as necessary and appropriate.

Additionally, we continue to be greatly disturbed by news of illegal billing and fraud performed by Planned Parenthood, of which the Inspector General has received new information.  In light of the court cases referenced in the IG’s letter, in which former Planned Parenthood employees alleged fraudulent billing to Medicaid and other publically funded programs, the organization’s unethical reimbursement practices appear to be a perpetual problem that is not being adequately addressed internally.  We look forward to learning more about the more recent information received by the Inspector General and would like to assist if and when appropriate.

It bears mention that the termination, as the Inspector General states, will not limit access to health care because of the “thousands of alternate providers in Texas” that are available to provide family planning services.  The Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP) has served, since 2013, as an exemplary model of this state’s ability to build and maintain an adequate network of family planning providers across the state without the inclusion of any Planned Parenthood affiliates.  The state’s other family planning programs, as well as the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, have followed suit, further affirming that a sufficient provider network is available. Pro-abortion advocates of Planned Parenthood, therefore, would be dishonest to argue that the termination significantly impairs women’s access to non-abortion services like pap tests, breast cancer exams, and HIV detection.

With investigations regarding Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers’ practices still ongoing, but crucial facts already definitively established, TCC strongly supports terminating Planned Parenthood’s enrollment in the Texas Medicaid program. Based on Planned Parenthood’s demonstrated disregard for patient rights and safety, and the proven availability of other credible family planning providers across the state, it is imperative that these termination proceedings move forward to better protect the health and safety of low-income women enrolled in the Texas Medicaid program.  We are available to assist your offices, and we are prepared to take legislative action when the time comes.

Sincerely,
Senator Paul Bettencourt
Senator Brian Birdwell
Senator Donna Campbell
Senator Brandon Creighton
Senator Bob Hall
Senator Kelly Hancock
Senator Don Huffines
Senator Lois Kolkhorst
Senator Jane Nelson
Senator Larry Taylor
Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson
Representative Cecil Bell Jr.
Representative Dwayne Bohac
Representative Dennis Bonnen
Representative Greg Bonnen
Representative Cindy Burkett
Representative Angie Chen Button
Representative Tom Craddick
Representative Myra Crownover
Representative DeWayne Burns
Representative Dustin Burrows
Representative Giovanni Capriglione
Representative Byron Cook
Representative Tony Dale
Representative Gary Elkins
Representative Pat Fallon
Representative Dan Flynn
Representative James Frank
Representative John Frullo
Representative Craig Goldman
Representative Jason Isaac
Representative Phil King
Representative Stephanie Klick
Representative Matt Krause
Representative Brooks Landgraf
Representative Jodie Laubenberg
Representative Jeff Leach
Representative Will Metcalf
Representative Morgan Meyer
Representative Rick Miller
Representative Geanie Morrison
Representative Jim Murphy
Representative Andrew Murr
Representative Chris Paddie
Representative Tan Parker
Representative Dennis Paul
Representative Larry Phillips
Representative Matt Rinaldi
Representative Matt Shaheen
Representative Kenneth Sheets
Representative Ron Simmons
Representative David Simpson
Representative Stuart Spitzer
Representative Drew Springer
Representative Ed Thompson
Representative Scott Turner
Representative Gary VanDeaver
Representative James White
Representative Paul Workman
Representative John Wray
Representative Bill Zedler