According to the New York Times on May 22:

The Obama administration is raising serious objections to a new Indiana law that cuts off state and federal money for Planned Parenthood clinics providing health care to low-income women on Medicaid….

Federal officials have 90 days to act but may feel pressure to act sooner because IN is already enforcing its law, which took effect on May 10, and because legislators in other states are working on similar measures.

If a state Medicaid program is not in compliance with federal law and regulations, federal officials can take corrective action, including “the total or partial withholding” of federal Medicaid money. The mere threat of such a penalty is often enough to get states to comply. Actually imposing the penalty would, in many cases, hurt the very people whom Medicaid is intended to help.

Administration officials said the IN law imposed impermissible restrictions on the freedom of Medicaid recipients to choose health care providers.

So Obama is threatening to blackmail IN by holding its poor hostage, willing to cut them off from any medical care whatsoever solely to keep PP on the dole. That’s how much Obama loves PP. This article’s title tells it like it is…

According to CBS News, the money we’re talking here is $2 million lost to PP and a bare minimum of $4 million withheld from the state by the feds. has a great editorial on this. Excerpt:

According to a statement approved by the White House, IN’s law is not needed because federal law already prohibits federal dollars from being spent on abortion. Furthermore, Medicaid does not allow “states to stop beneficiaries from getting care they need – like cancer screenings and preventive care – because their provider provides certain other services.”

“Certain other services” are abortions, in case the language is too subtle for you. The WH’s stance shows the big lie in the claim that government money won’t be used for them. Money is fungible – that is, one dollar is the same as any other. If the government gives money for things such as screenings and preventive care, that frees up PP to use its other dollars for abortions.

And forgive us the metaphor, but surrounding abortions with all those other “needed services” is a little like terrorists putting their hideouts in neighborhoods full of innocent civilians: Take us out if you dare, but be prepared for collateral damage. Why must those needed services be provided by PP? State officials have said they will make sure to provide them elsewhere.

Wow on that last paragraph.

Yes, recall IN PP has only 28 clinics throughout a state with 92 counties.  Meanwhile there are a combined hundreds if not thousands of doctors offices, immediate care clinics, county health departments, and Federally Qualified Health Clinics in IN that provide all the same services to Medicaid patients – and much more – than PP. As Gov. Mitch Daniels said when signing the bill, “We will take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before.” reported yesterday that IN officials are arguing in court, where PP is suing to block the new law, “there is ‘no record that PPIN makes any effort to either segregate Medicaid reimbursements from other unrestricted revenue sources… indicat[ing] that… the Medicaid reimbursements it does receive are pooled or comingled with other monies it receives and thus help to pay for total operational costs.”

Meanwhile, in a late development, CBS News is reporting that 30 Democrat senators sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius yesterday urging her to warn states not to try to defund PP.

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