July 13, 2012 — A recent decision by a CMS hearing officer in a dispute over Indiana's Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, "[i]n effect, .. sets aside the abortion argument," a South Bend Tribune editorial argues.
The hearing officer supported CMS' ruling rejecting Indiana's request to enforce a state law that would bar Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood of Indiana. The ruling effectively "says the issue is whether needy women should be free to choose their provider of care [for services] such as mammograms and contraceptives," the editorial explains.
"It's easy to see why the fight over Medicaid funding to [PPIN] turned into a battle over abortion," the editorial notes, adding that "passionate anti-abortion activists oppose the organization in every way," including "even taxpayer-funded cancer screenings." However, "Denying patients Planned Parenthood's reliable Medicaid-eligible services has nothing to do with abortion," the editorial says, concluding that doing so "would not have been in the best interest of Hoosiers" (South Bend Tribune, 7/12).