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Planned Parenthood files emergency lawsuit to try to stop Texas from kicking it off Medicaid

The exterior of Planned Parenthood's Downtown Austin Health Center on Jan. 14, 2020. The location was being renovated at time of capture. Credit: Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

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Planned Parenthood on Wednesday said it filed an emergency lawsuit to stop Texas from kicking it out of Medicaid, in a last ditch effort to keep providing non-abortion services to some 8,000 low-income patients.

The state gave Planned Parenthood patients until Feb. 3 to find new doctors after the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Texas officials who have long sought to block the health provider from participating in Medicaid, the joint state-federal health insurance program for the poor.

In Texas, Medicaid primarily provides health insurance for children, and those who have a disability, are pregnant or are parents. It is difficult to qualify in Texas, a state that has not expanded Medicaid; a single parent with two children cannot make more than $230 a month.

A lower court blocked the state from removing Planned Parenthood from Medicaid in 2017. In November, 5th Circuit judges ruled that legal precedent disqualifies people enrolled in Medicaid from taking issue with how states determine which providers are qualified to be in the program.

Planned Parenthood on Wednesday said it filed an emergency lawsuit to stop Texas from kicking it out of Medicaid, in a last ditch effort to keep providing non-abortion services to some 8,000 low-income patients.

The state gave Planned Parenthood patients until Feb. 3 to find new doctors after the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Texas officials who have long sought to block the health provider from participating in Medicaid, the joint state-federal health insurance program for the poor.

In Texas, Medicaid primarily provides health insurance for children, and those disabled, pregnant or who are parents. It is difficult to qualify in Texas, a state that has not expanded Medicaid; a single parent with two children cannot make more than $230 a month.

A lower court blocked the state from removing Planned Parenthood from Medicaid in 2017. In November, 5th Circuit judges ruled that legal precedent disqualifies people enrolled in Medicaid from taking issue with how states determine which providers are qualified to be in the program.