Back in 2011, Indiana’s Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, signed a law to ban Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, on the grounds that fungible Medicaid money was supporting the abortion business. A district judge blocked the law almost immediately, and now the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Indiana. As reported by the Chicago Tribune:
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that while Indiana has broad authority to exclude unqualified providers from its Medicaid program for the poor, it lacks authority to exclude a class of providers – in this case Planned Parenthood clinics – for reasons unrelated to their qualifications.
It said doing so deprives Medicaid recipients of their legal right to obtain care from qualified providers of their choosing.
“Indiana maintains that any harm to Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid patients is superficial because they have many other qualified Medicaid providers to choose from,” Circuit Judge Diane Sykes wrote for a three-judge panel. “This argument misses the mark.”
Indiana’s Attorney General, Greg Zoeller, explained the law by saying, “The people’s elected representatives in the legislature decided they did not want an indirect subsidy of abortion services, such as payroll and overhead, to be paid with taxpayers’ dollars.” But apparently the people and their elected representatives don’t get to make decisions like that. Planned Parenthood’s growth, thanks to the profitable abortion business and taxpayer subsidies, has made it so big that no other providers can step forward to fill its shoes, without causing some unacceptable degree of inconvenience to Medicaid recipients. The umbilical cord between Planned Parenthood and your wallet cannot be cut.
“This is a total victory,” said Ken Falk, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which handled Planned Parenthood’s appeal.
“It is significant because, around the country, there are hundreds of thousands of people who get services through Planned Parenthood that are reimbursed by Medicaid,” he said. “To allow those services to be denied solely because a state does not like other things that Planned Parenthood does can cause serious harm to people who depend on it for basic medical needs.”
CBS News adds another comment from an ACLU representative: “This law was an attempt by politicians to punish organizations that are providing legal services. Elected officials should not place politics above women’s health.”
But it’s great when politics are placed above the moral sensibility of the peons, isn’t it? Planned Parenthood is now synonymous with “women’s health.” No further discussion or dissent will be permitted.
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