WH Vows to Block Indiana Planned Parenthood Law

Medicaid recipients have right to choose providers: White House

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 23, 2011 9:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – Indiana’s new law that strips Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funds took effect on May 10—but it's subject to federal review, and the White House says it won’t approve the measure. The Obama administration, which says the law denies Medicaid recipients’ right to choose healthcare providers, has 90 days to act, and federal officials can opt to withhold the state’s Medicaid funding if it feels its program doesn't comply with federal law, the New York Times reports. But such a move would ultimately harm those who the federal government wants to care for.

Medicaid officials say they are “reviewing” the situation and similar ones in other states. “Medicaid does not allow states to stop beneficiaries from getting care they need—like cancer screenings and preventive care—because their provider offers certain other services,” they note. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and two patients are suing over “a blatant violation of the 'freedom of choice’ provision.'" A federal court will hear the case in two weeks.

Supporters applaud comments by Planned Parenthood of Indiana Board Chairman Deborah J. Simon at the organization's Rally to Protect our Patients at the Indiana Statehouse on March 8, 2011.
Supporters applaud comments by Planned Parenthood of Indiana Board Chairman Deborah J. Simon at the organization's Rally to Protect our Patients at the Indiana Statehouse on March 8, 2011.   (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Charlie Nye)
Planned Parenthood Indiana supporters hold up signs and cheer during the organization's Rally to Protect our Patients on the south steps of the Indiana Statehouse on March 8, 2011, in Indianapolis.
Planned Parenthood Indiana supporters hold up signs and cheer during the organization's "Rally to Protect our Patients" on the south steps of the Indiana Statehouse on March 8, 2011, in Indianapolis.   (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Charlie Nye)
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