Obama Administration Rejects Indiana Law to Defund Planned Parenthood

The Obama Administration sent a letter this week notifying Indiana that its plan to bar the state Medicaid agency from contracting with Planned Parenthood is illegal.

The administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Donald Berwick, said the Indiana law, which is already in effect, violates federal Medicaid law by imposing impermissible restrictions on the freedom of Medicaid beneficiaries to choose health care providers.

If Indiana continues to bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the state could lose more than $4 billion in Medicare funds.

In February, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood health centers. Senate Democrats blocked that bill from becoming law, but states could partly achieve the same goal by following Indiana’s lead.

According to a New York Times editorial published today, “The Obama Administration’s opposition to the Indiana law could help deter other states — including North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin and Tennessee — from moving forward with similar measures….”

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