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Rick Perry
Rick Perry  (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's imagined war with the federal government unfortunately has real casualties—poor women (as usual). In this instance, the Texas government has decide to write Planned Parenthood out of the state's Women's Health Program, a Medicaid-waiver program providing basic health and family planning services to low-income and uninsured women who would not otherwise be eligible for Medicaid unless pregnant.

The Department of Health and Human Services warned the state that this rule would not meet requirements for funding, because it violates the Social Security Act. They informed the state that some $40 million in funding would be pulled if Planned Parenthood, which provides 44 percent of the program’s services, was blacklisted. putting $40 million in federal funding at risk.

The rule, signed by Commissioner Tom Suehs on Thursday, takes effect March 14. Unless some last-minute agreement is brokered, the program, which receives $9 in federal funds for every $1 in state funds, will be either phased out or cut off by the end of March. At least 130,000 poor Texas women will lose access to cancer screenings, well-woman exams and contraception.

“No one’s politics should interfere with a woman’s access to health care," said Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast President and CEO Peter J. Durkin. "It is shameful that Governor Perry and Commissioner Suehs continue to politicize lifesaving breast cancer screenings and birth control access for low-income women."

Perry, of course, is couching this as fighting back against the overreaching Obama administration, with his spokeswoman justifying cutting these women off of basic health services by putting it on the White House and saying, "This boils down to the rule of law—which the state of Texas respects and the Obama administration does not." The state of Texas apparently doesn't believe in the Constitution's Supremacy Clause.

And the GOP establishment is worried about their image because they think the presidential debates are starting to make them look bad. Are they paying any attention to the actual policies Republicans in office are creating?

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Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM PST.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans and Daily Kos.

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