HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Hundreds of low-income individuals insured through Medicaid may no longer be able to visit planned parenthood for their healthcare needs.
“Medicaid is used for birth control, wellness exams and treatments, UTI infections and a lot more,” Planned Parenthood of South Texas Director of Public Affairs Mara Posada said.
Between the Planned Parenthood clinics in Brownsville and Harlingen roughly 4,000 annual patients, Posada says about 300 do rely on medicaid — which in Texas does not cover abortions.
A ruling this week by the U.S. fifth circuit of appeals allows Planned Parenthood be excluded from Medicaid funding.
“We know that this hurts people that are struggling the most,” she said. “We know that even in a pandemic, people need access to healthcare from a provider they trust. And this has the potential to severely impact them.”
Posada says this is the state’s latest attack on Planned Parenthood, which in 2011 was removed from the Women’s Health Program offering free family planning services to low-income women.
“Here in Texas, the way we value personal liberty, this should anger every taxpayer that the Governor is trying to tell people where they can get their healthcare, simply because he has an ideological difference with Planned Parenthood,” she said.
For now, Medicaid recipients can continue using Planned Parenthood’s services as the ruling has not yet taken effect.
Posada says they are working with a legal team to explore their options.
Under the fifth circuits jurisdiction, this ruling also affects Louisiana.