No one could have seen this coming.
State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, has been worried about the Women’s Health Program since the state said it would create its own version of the program. That came after the state moved to exclude clinics affiliated with abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, from participating — which led the federal government to pull all funding.
Howard was worried when she wrote a letter to the Health and Human Services Commission, or HHSC, asking for information about new providers.
“I was told immediately upon sending this letter, by HHSC, that they were in the process of doing a study on this and would get back with me,” Howard said.
The state-run program’s new website prominently shows how to search for local providers, so Howard had one of her staff members visit the program website to see what might be available.
“One of my staff members actually typed in the ZIP code for 78701 and contacted the first 30 providers on that list,” Howard said, “and only found five of the 30 who actually serve women in the Women’s Health Program.”
KUT called a few of the doctors on that list. Of the first three, two said they were not providers in the program.
I really want this program to work, because if it doesn’t then thousands of women will be denied the health care they need, and that’s a problem for all of us. On the other hand, I fully expect this to be a miserable failure, because what does Rick Perry care about women’s health? What’s in it for him? In any event, the Texas WHP website is here. If you have some time on your hands and a sense of mischief, feel free to look up the providers listed in your area and call them to see if they’re aware that they’re listed as such.