Monday, December 10, 2012

More Texas-Sized Stupidity

Some Texas Republicans are now regretting destroying funding for Planned Parenthood and birth control for the poor as the additional cost of some 24,000 additional babies to low income mothers is costing the state hundreds of millions.

When state lawmakers passed a two-year budget in 2011 that moved $73 million from family planning services to other programs, the goal was largely political: halt the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood clinics. 

Now they are facing the policy implications — and, in some cases, reconsidering.
The latest Health and Human Services Commission projections being circulated among Texas lawmakers indicate that during the 2014-15 biennium, poor women will deliver an estimated 23,760 more babies than they would have, as a result of their reduced access to state-subsidized birth control. 

The additional cost to taxpayers is expected to be as much as $273 million — $103 million to $108 million to the state’s general revenue budget alone — and the bulk of it is the cost of caring for those infants under Medicaid. 

Ahead of the next legislative session, during which lawmakers will grapple with an existing Medicaid financing shortfall, a bipartisan coalition is considering ways to restore some or all of those family planning dollars, as a cost-saving initiative if nothing else. 

“I know some of my colleagues felt like in retrospect they did not fully grasp the implications of what was done last session,” said Representative Donna Howard, Democrat of Austin, who said she had been discussing ways to restore financing with several other lawmakers in both parties. 

She added, “I think there is some effort they’ll be willing to make to restore whatever we can.” 

Surprise!  Instead of saving money, idiot Texas Republicans quadrupled the cost.   And they still refuse to restore funding for Planned Parenthood, meaning now in order to serve Texas's burgeoning working poor, the state will have to greatly expand Medicaid as a government program rather than work with non-profits like Planned Parenthood who could defray some of the cost to taxpayers through donations and grants.

Gotta punish those slutty poor women after all.  Increasing the cost to taxpayers by $200 million will really show them, huh guys?

Great job.

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