800 Other Medicaid Providers in Indiana

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If you've been anywhere near an anti-choice of conservative website today, you've no doubt heard that a new "investigation" has "proven" that Indiana is right to defund Planned Parenthood, because according to the Daniels administration there are "more than 800 other Medicaid providers in the state that can provide the same services."

So who are those Medicaid providers, and why don't women just use them instead?

Oh, because most of them are actually physicians.  And they aren't taking patients.

Via The Post Tribune:

Supporters and opponents of Indiana’s new law eliminating Medicaid funding for abortion providers have painted starkly different pictures of Medicaid recipients’ options for finding birth control, cancer screening and other services under the law.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, who signed the law May 10, has said low-income women can turn to about 800 Medicaid providers that don’t perform abortions to obtain reproductive health services.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana — the law’s main target — has conceded numerous health centers statewide provide sexual health services, but its president says the agency’s review of Daniels’ list found many don’t take new Medicaid patients or have long waits for appointments. Others, she said, are far from the Planned Parenthood clinics many have relied on for years, posing extra transportation costs for low-income patients, particularly those in rural areas.

“It’s very rarely going to be an apples and apples situation if our patients need to turn to another provider,” president and CEO Betty Cockrum said. “It simply makes no sense to make it more difficult for low-income patients to get reproductive health care.”

A majority of those providers are primary care physicians, meaning that the cost to see women, provide testing, and prescribe birthcontrol will greatly increase in comparison to women using a clinic set up specifically for that purpose.  But since Republicans are big on blocking anything that brings down the cost of health care, that's not so surprising.

One Republican politician said his office did identify over 100 actual health clinics that women could go to instead of Planned Parenthood.  With nearly 9,000 Medicaid patients currently getting their health care provided by Planned Parenthood, that means that each clinic would have to take on at least 90 new patients on average, all at once.

How could that cause any delays in care?


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