You just need to ask yourself one simple question about this.
Planned Parenthood will remain part of the Women’s Health Program for now, state officials said Wednesday, putting off the organization’s ouster as critics questioned whether enough health-care providers would exist without it.
Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek cited court action and a desire to hold on to federal funding in putting off Thursday’s anticipated start of a new Texas Women’s Health Program, which would be run only with state dollars and without Planned Parenthood.
Perry on Wednesday said Texas remains committed to barring the clinics from the program, saying state law excludes those affiliated with abortion providers. He also said the remaining health-care providers will have the capacity to serve women in the program, saying 3,000 providers have signed up.
Mara Posada of the Planned Parenthood Trust of South Texas said the delay in launching the state program suggests “they are not ready to start this program, which by all accounts has been deemed a disaster. There are simply not enough providers with the capacity to see the same number of patients as Planned Parenthood.”
The Wednesday announcement is “an important victory for every woman who relies on the Women’s Health Program for basic, preventive health care,” said Melaney A. Linton, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.
Texas officials on Wednesday said that the state-funded program is ready, but it is unclear when they will abandon the federal program. They said federal officials have suggested they can’t provide funding past Dec. 31.
Janek said the state will continue to operate the program with Medicaid funds until that federal funding is stopped or a final court decision requires the state to include Planned Parenthood, violating state law.
Is it even remotely likely that Rick Perry would wait one minute longer than necessary to tell the feds to take their filthy Medicaid money and stick it where the sun don’t shine if the state’s replacement Women’s Health Program were ready to go? Not only would it be a giant middle finger to Planned Parenthood and all of the naysayers who have been predicting – correctly, it would seem – that the state would not be able to pull this off, it would be a nice little base rallier to wrap up early voting. Would Rick Perry turn down that opportunity? The question answers itself. They’re not ready and they don’t want to admit it. Now the question is whether they’ll be ready by January. I wouldn’t bet on it.