This Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States allowed lower court rulings to stand in cases involving the attempted “defunding” of Planned Parenthood, including lower court decisions holding that states could not remove Planned Parenthood from their list of qualified Medicaid providers. This decision is a victory for Planned Parenthood and those patients that rely on Medicaid to help them receive the essential health care services they need.
Medicaid patients in Kansas and Louisiana, two states that barred Medicaid from covering Planned Parenthood services, sued their states claiming the state restrictions violated Medicaid’s requirement that patients must be free to seek their health care from any qualified and willing provider. The lower federal courts ruled in the patients’ favor, ordering the states to lift their bans on Planned Parenthood’s participation in Medicaid.
In New Hampshire alone, about 180,000 residents use Medicaid to access their health care. NH Medicaid is a federal and state funded health care program that serves a wide range of lower-income individuals and families who meet certain eligibility requirements. Last year, the New Hampshire Legislature renewed Medicaid Expansion, assuring that those who receive State funding get the health care services they need.
Providing lower income individuals and families with affordable health care is crucial for the overall health of our communities. The Supreme Court’s decision to let the lower courts’ rulings stand will help ensure that Planned Parenthood patients who use Medicaid continue to receive the essential health care services they rely on.