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New data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows that, as a result of conservative-fueled budget cuts, fewer Texans than ever are receiving family planning services, and at a higher cost than ever per client. This is fiscal conservatism, Texas-style.

Written by Andrea Grimes for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Texans are now getting far fewer family planning services at a higher cost than ever, according to documents submitted to the Department of State Health Services council this week. Just 75,160 low-income clients received publicly-funded family planning services in fiscal year 2012, compared to 211,980 in fiscal year 2010. That was before conservative Texas lawmakers slashed money-saving family planning funds in their 2011 legislative session.

That means Texas is spending more money -- about $37 per person -- to serve fewer than half the clients it saw two years ago.

This is fiscal conservatism? This is good money management?

This is Texas.

As Jordan Smith at the Austin Chronicle reports, a new funding matrix barred specialty family planning providers -- the matrix targeted Planned Parenthood, the most efficient provider of family planning in the state -- from receiving Title X family planning money and privileged funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers, which are far less cost-effective than other providers.

But there's hope: a coalition of reproductive health care providers in Texas is taking a new tactic when it comes to the state's drastic family planning cuts and attempts to push Planned Parenthood out of the Medicaid Women's Health Program: they're going to apply directly to the federal government for Title X (family planning) grant money. If they get the funds, they state health department and the Texas legislature will no longer get to play politics with women's health. Reports the Texas Observer:

If the coalition wins the federal grant -- called Title X (Title 10) -- a slice of Texas' family planning money would no longer go to the state health department -- and would no longer be subject to the whims of the Legislature. Instead, the coalition, organized by Fran Hagerty of the Women's Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, would distribute the money to family planning providers statewide, including perhaps Planned Parenthood, and restore services to tens of thousands of Texans.

Coalition leader Hagerty told the Observershe wants as many health care providers as possible to sign on to the grant proposal to ensure their funding if they're successful. Planned Parenthood hasn't publicly said it's part of the coalition, but it has been a major target of state lawmakers and bureaucrats who've been working to ban it from participating in the WHP.

If the state continues to mismanage its family planning funds--what little it has to work with, thanks to Republican lawmakers--and see such a steep decline in services provided to the low-income Texans that need them the most, Texas can likely look forward to more Medicaid-funded births and higher costs overall for taxpayers.

If Texas conservatives want to save money and reduce abortions that result from unwanted pregnancies, the numbers show that they're doing everything wrong.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is a Jihad. It is not rational. Texas gave hu (0+ / 0-)

    ndreds of millions to 2 companies to 'streamline and improve' food stamp (Lone Star card) program and got results that screwed it up even more, costing even more $ just to get back to the crappy state it was.

    Remeber, GovGoodhair nee Perry signed an anti-reporductive freedom bill in a church and then claimed it had nothing to do with religion.  

    The only surpirsing thing is Texas Thugs don't have a 'shoot a brown poor person' day party.

    •  chrismorgan: your irrational hatred of Texas (0+ / 0-)

      is its own jihad. Aim it where it will do the least harm.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:05:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I live in Texas and I have my own pretty serious (0+ / 0-)

        issues with a lot of things that go on here. The style of his comment was a little bit over the top, but this state is messed up, in part due to racist conservatives who are put into government by other racist conservatives. There are a lot of them here, and the public policy that results from this perpetuates the whole cycle. If you live here like I do, you know because you deal with it and them every day. For every Barbara Jordan and Ann Richards we have in the past, we have 10 GWBs, Rick Perrys, Ted Cruzs and Debbie Riddles in our present. This is all exacerbated by the fact that our national Democratic organizations won't invest here to develop our farm team because they know that at least for the time being our smart voters are being overwhelmed by the racist dumbfucks who vote like their life depends on it. This unwillingness to invest here also perpetuates this cycle, but it's a pretty rational choice to make, in terms of return on investment.

        "There must be something beyond slaughter and barbarism to support the existence of mankind and we must all help search for it."

        by camlbacker on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:24:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  camlbacker: one of my gripes with national (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Dem leadership is that refusal to invest in our candidates.

          Rick Noriega.
          Bill White.
          Paul Sadler.

          Shall I go on?

          Yet Texans are hit up constantly to help with money to further Dems' election to the Senate or House from, say, New Mexico, Missouri, or the East Coast.

          For every GWBii or Ted Cruz (carpetbagger!) we have a dozen more Julian Castro's or Gilberto Hinojosa's (I met him, in October. I'm very impressed!) ... they need backing. Financial as well as GOTV.

          It really puts a burr under my saddle that they rationalize their irresponsibility to Texas Democrats with "can't win there anyway."

          Might as well say they really choose not to try.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:08:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I said 'Texas' not Texans. Texas is the state, an (0+ / 0-)

            d state policy is what the Thugs want. Completely and totally, with zero effective input from Ds.  

            In fact, the best we can hope for is Thug overreach and another KillerBees stand (only how about Las Cruses this time?  Why give $ to Okla?)


            White had plenty of $. DNC $ would not have helped more like hurt, as it would tie him to the GreatBlackSatan and 'elite-socialist-communist-homo-n***-antiChristloving-babyeating-li'ruls'.  

            And that's what the persuadable Thug voters think.

            I've spent far too much time trying to help otherwise liberal Democratic Texans try to overcome their Faux-Thug reignited&fanned racism, criminal lies and the like to blame the DNC for this.

            Besides, Democrats could even get more than 29% of the vote when Perry could have been wacked in 2006, an otherwise good D year, let alone the 40% that would have beat him.  Gonna blame the DNC for that too?

            •  you gonna blame me, since I was in Lubbock (0+ / 0-)

              busting ass to elect Bill White?

              It's not just the money. It's the attitude.

              Rick Noriega had "Big John" on the run.

              Bill White was ahead in the polls the Sunday before the election, and got every major paper's endorsement in the state. He's the guy who engineered the Katrina response in Houston -- the one national authorities were teaching as exemplary in '07.

              I don't buy that the Ds here aren't doing enough.

              We are getting sucked dry to fund other states' Democrats, though.

              Insofar as another "Killer Bee" incident -- probably not do-able now. The GOP can conduct business without the Dems in attendance, thanks to redistricting.

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:01:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thugs lost supermajority, so need quorum i believe (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                meaning Ds can stop the House (temporarily bc they won't stay out the whole session, sadly).

                And of course, I don't blame you.  But I don't blame national Ds for it either.  I blame Texas Thug crackers and their children who seem to use zero brain cells to decide who to vote for.

                BTW, you have my condolences in Lubbock.  Lived there for 2 years and Clovis for far too many.  But, at least it ain't certain East Texan Klan havens.

                •  No, it's a West Texas Klan haven (0+ / 0-)

                  right out in the open, too. Dammit.

                  LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

                  by BlackSheep1 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:51:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, but i didn't want to be the one saying it.:) (0+ / 0-)
                    •  you didn't have Paul Beane on the city council (0+ / 0-)

                      while you were here, did you?

                      We sent a young black Tech student to prison for a rape he didn't commit back in the 1980s, and he died there. Evidence exonerating him came out, and the Governor pardoned him, post-mortem, in 2010 or so.

                      When another member of the city council offered, in the spirit of not being a dick, to sponsor a fountain or a memorial named after this young man -- a Lubbock native and a martyr to the TDCJ -- to remind us of this tragedy and make us a little more open to not repeat these errors, Paul Beane threw a hissy fit for city council meeting after TV interview after council chambers session, until not only was the idea tabled, but it died away.

                      He was dis-elected in the primaries this year (thank FSM, Ceiling Cat, and all the gods!!!! -- the damn thing went to a runoff!) and has returned to his previous career as a local "talk radio host" spouting the wingnut philosophy.

                      To my delight, the country station I used to listen to that I quit listening to when they hired him, would not rehire him after he got himself canned from the city council.

                      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

                      by BlackSheep1 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:38:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Don't think he was back then ('80-'81). (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        I was very happy when Judge Charlie Baird here in Austin defied the State and held a habeas hearing finding that young man innocent - not pardoned, innocent.  'Course, our wonderful all Thug Ct of Criminal Appeals swatted him down on a statory technicality (dead men have no standing for a habeas by statute) while completely ignoring the superior - and pre-existing - 'inalienable' constitutional right aka the Great Writ.

                        •  Charlie Baird is another one we need more like. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          We don't seem to be getting them ... the money's with the Sowders, etc.

                          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

                          by BlackSheep1 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:20:24 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

      •  I have lived in Texas since '80 and worked in Texa (0+ / 0-)

        s poltics since '82.

        I am sorry to destroy your comfortin illusion, but that is the Texas Thug party.  After all, they're rebelling against their own House speaker of 4 years bc he's 'not sufficient conservative', by which they mean he committed the crime being Jewish.

        The Texas Thug party is not Lippert, Dewhurst, Kay, Whitmore and any of the old Dallas-Houston money axis types and hasn't been for many years.  Its the loudest, most right wing T-vangelicals possible.

        IOW, its jihad.  

        Just as I said.

        And sorry but they are Texas till we go back to purple.

        •  so come help us make that change (0+ / 0-)

          Gilberto Hinojosa is here, busting ass to make Texas purple.
          He's not alone by a damn sight.
          Kenny Ketner, here in Lubbock, is turning around the county Randy Neugebauer calls home.

          Money drives the Teahadjis. Kay is retiring and Dewhurst got handed his head by Cruz and the money-mad Faux-addicts who voted him in.
          The national popular vote (and the popular vote right here in gerrymandered-all-to-hell-and-gone Texas) is an in-your-face affront to these buggers.

          Come help us finish putting them out of power.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:17:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have been here in Austin/Central Texas, tho not (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            as much as I should...  ::sigh::

            •  are you perchance in Lloyd's district, (0+ / 0-)

              when you're in Texas?

              I sometimes think nothing short of a nuke will change the Lege's propensity to screw as many people over as possible, as badly as possible, as often as possible, in the name of Jeebus, Amen.

              LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:33:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I USED to be, dammit! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                And since they, yet again, failed to defeat him by jerrymandering, I expect Thugs will re-district again in 2013... just his district... to the moon!

                And Doggett will still win. :)

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