Feds Bypass State, Give $13 Million for Family Planning Directly to Women's Health Coalition

Vagina demagogues.jpg
Maybe you're not a Yiddish speaker, but you need a handy illustration of the concept of "chutzpah." In Spanish: cojones. Or in English, if you insist: king-sized brass balls. If you need a real-world demonstration of this cross-cultural concept, you have only to look at how your state-level bureaucrats have behaved in their fight with the feds over family planning money. As of yesterday, it's proven to be a money-losing strategy -- $13 million, to be exact.

In the 2011 legislative session, Texas lawmakers cut $73 million -- a full two-thirds -- of the state family planning budget, as well as instituting a tiered funding structure to make sure that family planning clinics got any remaining money dead last, after hospitals and federally qualified healthcare centers. All of that was somehow meant to prevent abortions, which family planning funds never paid for to begin with.

But the state wasn't quite done with their assault on family planning: This time last year, Texas was insisting it could bar Planned Parenthood from the Medicaid Women's Health Program, for which the feds paid 90 percent of the cost. When federal health officials told the state that was illegal, Texas refused to back down. Fine, the feds said, and cut all federal funding to the WHP. Texas insisted it would be just fine without Planned Parenthood or the feds (and continues to say that, despite quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. )

Despite all this feuding, for some reason, Texas still believed it would be awarded a whole lot of money from the feds in Title X grant funding (Title X being the money that can only go towards family planning efforts). Late yesterday, the feds chose instead to award that cash to a coalition of women's health groups, under the logic that the group could serve more patients than the state's program. That coalition includes Planned Parenthood. That one must sting.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in a press release yesterday that the Title X grant money here would be awarded to the Women's Health and Family Planning Association of Texas. The WHFPT describes itself as a group of "health science centers, hospital districts, health departments, community action agencies, community-based health care clinics and individuals." Together, they operate 121 clinics across the state, serving 800,000 low-income women. The coalition had applied directly to the feds for the Title X money back in November , when it became clear that they couldn't expect to receive much, if anything, if the state was in charge of handing out the funds.

In a statement to the Texas Tribune, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services, Carrie Williams, insisted that the state has "a long history with these dollars and [has] been dedicated to using them to maximize family planning services for women in Texas." Nonetheless, she added, "Our hope is that the provider base remains healthy and that any transition is smooth for those who need services."

The Title X money will be used for family planning counseling, birth control and preventative healthcare measures like Well Woman exams. It can't be used for abortions, and never has been, by anyone, no matter what your state lawmakers might tell you.

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53 comments
Americano
Americano

So if I sit at home minding my own business and decide that women should buy their own BC, I am trying to get in their vagina?  I have tried to get in women's vagina's, sometimes with success and that was not part of the process.  Is that accusation supposed to scare me so I don't say anything uncomfortable for the poor horny waifs of Texas?


roo_ster
roo_ster

Tell me again why grown women and men can not buy and use their own birth control (AKA, "family planning"), without any government to mediate or facilitate the transaction?  Birth control is super-cheap, these days.(http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=condoms&ic=16_0&Find=Find&search_constraint=0)

My wife and I managed to do so without seeking gov't assistance, as did my parents and their parents. 

It seems these sorts of "family planning" programs are not for poor women, but for stupid women. 


CitzenKim
CitzenKim

In your face, hillbillys!!!!!

ChrisDangerShow
ChrisDangerShow

Why is it the republicon$ always want to have access to ladies personal business, especially the poor?? 

NewsDog
NewsDog

Together, they operate 121 clinics across the state, serving 800,000 low-income women. 

I wonder if Gov Ricky realizes that's 800,000 votes he won't be getting...   oh wait, he doesn't want the votes of low income woman to begin with.  

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

5 of 5 Vaginas today, well done.  For all the finger wagging and big talk from the State, it seems the Feds got the last laugh by giving a government sized middle finger to Austin.  Any time the people of the state gain, without Austin Skimming the top first is a win my book, no matter what side of the vagina you are on

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

I would rather that taxes stopped paying for it at all, but if it is going to happen, I don't see any reason to waste part of it on overhead passing it through a state agency.  It's all a big meh to me.

Seriously.  Your "movement" has devolved to an accounting exercise.  Congratulations.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@roo_ster So you are saying that it is a bad thing if the government helps out in keeping stupid people from breeding?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@ChrisDangerShow increases the supply of desperate women, greater supply equals lower prices for services rendered. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@NewsDog Actually, it is lot more sinister than that.  You're claiming that the entire system is just a vote buying process.  There is no other reasonable interpretation.  You've insulted all the women on the program by insinuating that they are all vote-whores. 

InvaderZim
InvaderZim

@ScottsMerkin Don't blame Austin -- we're liberal here, and Travis County always skews Democrat despite the ideologues plunked down in our midst.  Blame the rest of Texas for continually re-electing numb-nuts Perry and his no-clue crew and sending them here.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin In a few years, long after Anna's gone you're gonna get banned for that politically incorrect, and awesome rating system.  And, Anna will be to blame, but nowhere to defend your honor. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

@everlastingphelps The phelps approach to life is apparently: Make sure they're born--they're precious. After that fuck 'em--they're on their own.

markzero
markzero

@everlastingphelps Whose movement? Perry's and the other neo-cons? Having Planned Parenthood stand in the gap and deliver healthcare to poor women has been the status quo for some time now, hasn't it?

Also, you really wanted poor women to be without health care if they couldn't pay for it themselves?

rbtxcat75
rbtxcat75

@JustSaying And it's our job to only breed the "perfect ones" right?  Should we start picking off people walking around our streets because they suffer from depression or have mental health issues?  Where do you get off choosing and selecting who is born in this world?

roo_ster
roo_ster

@JustSaying Yes.  

Also that it is a bad thing if it provides them taxpayer money to live on and food bought on the taxpayers' dime.  Remove both forms of subsidy and the problem sorts itself out, what with stupid folk too busy trying to feed themselves to bump uglies.

randi.trollop
randi.trollop

@everlastingphelps @NewsDog The GOTP needs to quit saying publicly that it needs the Latino vote and giving dollar amounts it is throwing behind its efforts to woo that crowd if buying votes is not the goal. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@InvaderZim let me clarify for you, Im not taking a shot at Austin the city or Travis county, Im blaming the establishment that resides there known as our governor, house and senate, get it, that's all in Austin, your austin complex is at its finest.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@scottindallas @ScottsMerkin I would like to think the OVRS would follow Anna wherever she goes to write, but i too worry if 1 or two editors down the road would send my comments into oblivion

rbtxcat75
rbtxcat75

@Scruffygeist @everlastingphelpsAgain, another misconception.Personally I think we need a REAL assistance program.Those that first help women decide the direction (keep the child, adoption services, not aborting the baby, etc.).And then after care for the women.Education is key to get in front of this issue before it happens.That includes learning the concept of “with every action, there is a consequence.”Instead, you that so “progressive” in your approach you do not want this.Your pro-choice stance is more of a pro-abortion stance and to disregard anything faith based.So while you are asking those that are Catholic/Jewish/Christian to be “open minded” you are essentially being closed minded and do not want that women, making the toughest of all decisions, to have any input if it does not include the only choice you are proposing.An abortion.As a society we claim to be so advanced.Hell, I can tell you the exact time my FedEx package gets here from across the globe.But for some reason, you guys are fighting to kill innocent children instead of spend your brain power on something much bigger in scope.There are 1.2 million abortions a year in this country.We are all better than that.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@markzero @everlastingphelps Right, if the government doesn't force everyone to pay for it at gunpoint, there's NO WAY that poor women could ever find a way.

That really is an indictment about how you feel about Americans.  You have no faith in charity whatsoever if you think government is the ONLY way it would happen.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@rbtxcat75 Who do you keep quoting? And I never once said that I was pro-choice or pro-life. I certainly never claimed to be "civilized". And yes, you sound like a fucking nut. I responded to a guy that said that family planning programs were for stupid women. I asked if it was a bad thing if stupid people didnt breed. Then your loony ass pops in and equates what I said with " picking off people walking around our streets because they suffer from depression or have mental health issues". Quite the leap there, fruitcake.

rbtxcat75
rbtxcat75

@JustSaying @rbtxcat75 And that is why you guys are the "civilized" and "progressive" ones and anybody that is pro-life is a religious nut right?  BTW, good luck in life.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@rbtxcat75 I'm not saying that you should have been aborted. I'm saying that your mother should have swallowed.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@JustSaying @roo_ster Those Ethiopians had their kids during times of relative plenty.  They were starving because the muslims controlling the E gov't used starvation as a weapon like Stalin did in the 1930s by confiscating the crops and preventing transportation.  It was a man-made famine.  I do suspect that if one were to study E birth rates, they did manage to drop precipitously during those man-made famines.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@roo_ster Written ^^^ like a man that has never gotten laid. I don't think I know a man under the age of 60 that is consistently too tired to get some ass.

I remember a documentary I watched about one of those Ethiopian like areas where everyone was starving because there wasnt enough food. Yet there were babies everywhere. Why? Because getting a nut was the one thing that everyone could afford that felt good and gave them a temporary break from their otherwise shitty life. That way of thinking isnt limited to areas where you can feed a child a day for the price of a cup of coffee. Cumming is universal.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@JustSaying @roo_ster Written ^^^ like a man who has never had to scratch out a living 18hrs/day working himself into a stupor.  

Yes, too busy.  More to the point, too _tired_ from working.  Not enough time left in the day to contemplate much anything other than sleep.  

Right now, we subsidize sloth and bastardy and get uncounted bastards born every day.  Too much "free" money, too much time on their hands.

Plus, the example of folks struggling to feed themselves and their progeny is rather bracing.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

@scottindallas Social liberal, fiscal conservative. I voted for Bush twice with no regrets. Both parties piss me off at different times on different subjects.

Too bad that doesn't fit neatly in the phelps "you gotta choose one or the other" mold. Reagan Democrat is close enough if you've gotta label it.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @Scruffygeist I wouldn't take ol Scruff as a died in the wool Democrat.  I suspect he's the proverbial "Reagan Democrat" that the GOP needs to persuade to win another national election.  Not that he'd admit to being a Reagan Dem.  I look forward to his answer.

rbtxcat75
rbtxcat75

@markzero“…Imagine if you had to sit through speeches about Jesus/Mohammed/insert name here/ before you got your daily dose of chemo? Or, more realistically, you went to, say, a Catholic charity, who refused to give you family planning assistance or condoms because they believed sex and marriage is only for procreation?”  And here is the problem.  You want free assistance but you don’t want to hear about the organization that raised the money to give you that free assistance?  And you want to criticize them because they do not contribute to things that don’t believe is morally correct?  That’s fine if you would rather not associate yourself with such charity organizations (BTW, the Catholic Church is the LARGEST charitable organization in the world).  But all that is negated based on the fact that they are faith based.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@markzero So, let me make sure I have this right.  Your argument is, "Fuck their beliefs -- but MY beliefs are so important that those people should be forced to PAY FOR my beliefs."

And you think YOU are the noble one.

markzero
markzero

@everlastingphelps @markzero I specified non-religious because have you heard how, for example, the Salvation Army discriminates against LBGT people, not just in employment, but also in access to shelters and other aid? Not to mention the general sense that religious charities are at risk of being less supportive of people who are of different faiths, or worse, atheists. (Proselytizing, which is an unstated goal of many people who volunteer, is actually quite offensive to people who have rationally made other choices.) Imagine if you had to sit through speeches about Jesus/Mohammed/insert name here/ before you got your daily dose of chemo? Or, more realistically, you went to, say, a Catholic charity, who refused to give you family planning assistance or condoms because they believed sex and marriage is only for procreation?

You may be thinking supplicants don't have the right to impose conditions, but it's *precisely* for that reason that a charity strive to be a neutral as possible, in order to help the most people and do the most good. 


TL;DR: can you really count on relying upon the kindness of strangers in your hour of unexpected need, if those strangers think of you as less than worthy? I'm not saying no religious charity can overcome this risk of bias, but how can you tell on short notice, when the emergency comes, and you've never had need before?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @markzero but, it actually saves money for the gov't to provide these services.  So long as the Hippocratic Oath binds doctors, so long as major trauma is picked up by Medicaid; your policy is penny wise and pound foolish.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@redneck3 @everlastingphelps @markzero No, that is the Bigot's idea of a religious answer.  The religious answer is, "abortion isn't the answer, so we need to do what we can to avoid that."

Did I mention that you were a bigot?

redneck3
redneck3

@everlastingphelps @markzero Because the religious answer to family planning is, "Cross your legs- and if you're a married woman, you're not allowed to do that."

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