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Source & Scope of Public Health Legal Powers

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Family Planning and Preventative Health Services, Inc. et al. v. Kauffman et al.

Overview

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Family Planning and Preventative Health Services, Inc. et al. v. Kauffman et al. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, November 23, 2020): In a split decision, the 5th Circuit concluded that Texas and Louisiana can cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, holding that patients do not have an unambiguous right to challenge a state determination that a provider is not “qualified.” This decision overruled Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast, Inc. v. Gee, which found that a state agency or actor could not find that a Medicaid provider was unqualified unless the provider was unqualified under state or federal law. The court’s decision largely rested on the text of 42 U.S.C. § 1396(a)(23), which does not unambiguously state that Medicaid patients may contest a state’s determination that a provider is not “qualified.” Whether a particular provider is deemed “qualified” statutorily is a matter to be left to the provider and the state or federal government. Read the decision here

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