The Obama administration has declared Indiana’s new law that withholds some public funding for Planned Parenthood of Indiana illegal and is warning other states that some of their Medicaid funding will be in jeopardy too if they pass legislation barring any qualified health care provider.
In a letter sent to Indiana’s Medicaid director, Medicaid Administrator Donald M. Berwick said Indiana’s plan will improperly bar beneficiaries from receiving services. Federal law requires Medicaid beneficiaries to be able to obtain services from any qualified provider.
“Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care providers from providing services that are funded under the program because of a provider’s scope of practice,” Berwick wrote in a letter to Patricia Cassanova, the director of Indiana’s office of Medicaid Policy and Planning. “Such a restriction would have a particular effect on beneficiaries’ ability to access family planning providers.”