NHeLP Comments on ‘Healthy Texas Women’ Sec. 1115 Waiver Project

Executive Summary

In comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NHeLP urges the department to reject Texas’ so-called “Healthy Texas Women” Medicaid demonstration waiver. The comments submitted by NHeLP Legal Director Jane Perkins note that HHS has limited ability to waive provisions of Medicaid law. HHS “may only approve an application that proposes an experiment, pilot, or demonstration that is likely to promote the objectives of the Medicaid Act.” Texas’ application is seeking to waive parts of Medicaid law that would flout its purpose. The Texas application seeks to make it increasingly difficult for low-income women to access family planning and other preventive services. “The evidence from Texas is overwhelmingly clear – prohibiting low-income women from receiving family planning services from qualified providers of their choice because those perform or promote abortion reduces access to health care and places women’s health at risk.”

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