The state of Texas is hoping that, under the Trump administration, no bad deed goes unrewarded.
You see, the Lone Star State crapped all over reproductive rights–and now it’s asking the Trump administration to force taxpayers to pick up the bill… while leaving the crap where it is. Four years ago, Texas lawmakers thumbed their snotty noses at millions of dollars in Medicaid funds just so that they could exclude any abortion provider from their state’s family planning program.
By booting abortion providers from the program, Texas forfeited federal funding. And the feds were paying for 90 percent of the program. So no surprise, now Texas is facing a $2 billion budget shortfall. So they’re asking the Trump administration to grant them a waiver and give them the money anyway–$300 million of it–while still refusing to let any provider that supports abortion give family planning help to Texas women.
And Texans need that help. The application itself noted that Texas has the nation’s highest birth rate, a full half of which were paid for by Medicaid. A third of pregnancies in Texas are unplanned. And of course, Texas has of the highest teen birthrates of any state.
And–DUH!–it’s gotten a lot worse since Texas forfeited the Yankee dollars. According to the University of Texas, claims for injectable contraceptives fell 31.1 percent and Medicaid-covered childbirths rose 27 percent since Texas kicked abortion providers out of the program. That’s a pretty fucking high price to pay just to screw over any family planning agency that supports abortion rights–and it’s the poor women of Texas who are paying that price.
Of course, all of that self-inflicted pain goes away if Texas just allows any willing provider to provide. HELLO–they’re willing! But NO, instead these LONE STAR BONEHEADS are asking the Trump admin to give them the money anyway. And if it works, you can bet that every state as backwards as saxeT will want the same treatment.
If you think this is a big stinking pile of steaming Texas steer-shit, then MESS WITH TEXAS! State officials are accepting comments on the draft waiver request through June 12. And if you’re in lovely Lubbock at the time, there’s a public meeting to debate it on June 9.