SENATORS CALL FOR HHS TO ENFORCE MEDICAID LAW, PRESERVE ACCESS TO PREVENTIVE CARE FOR WOMEN
(Washington, DC) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and 29 of his Senate colleagues wrote to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today, calling on HHS to clarify to state Medicaid directors across the country that state laws attempting to exclude family planning clinics that provide abortion services from Medicaid or Title X participation, such as Planned Parenthood, will lead to compliance actions on the part of HHS.The Senators wrote to Secretary Sebelius as numerous states consider legislation that would prohibit Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving federal funds for family planning services, including Medicaid funds and Title X family planning funds, endangering the health of millions of women, teens, and families across the country. Such a proposal was recently enacted in Indiana.
“Legislation like the bill passed by the Indiana legislature to exclude such Medicaid providers stands in direct opposition to longstanding Congressional intent, and create serious access concerns for both patients and providers,” the Senators write in the letter. “The restrictions threatened by state legislatures blatantly contradict the spirit and letter of well-established and long accepted law. These principles have been backed repeatedly over many years – truly bipartisan support. We write not to ask support for new law, but for vigorous, prompt enforcement of existing law.”
The letter was signed by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), John Kerry (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Udall (D-CO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
26 May 2011
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Posted by Tessa Marquis