CONCORD, July 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – New Hampshire has become the second state after Indiana to receive a strongly-worded rebuke from Obama officials for cutting off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood.
A state health official told New Hampshire Public Radio Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had warned his office that New Hampshire’s defunding effort may have broken federal rules by depriving state Medicaid recipients of a qualified provider.
New Hampshire Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas said federal officials ordered the state to fund Planned Parenthood by August 15, and said that refusal to comply could lead to sanctions in the form of withheld federal health care funds.
“The focus is, how do we achieve statewide access … because there are a number of women who are out there right now that, beyond the family planning services, the bigger concern is that they’re not getting some of the basic health services,” Toumpas told NHPR’s The Exchange.
The rebuke is nearly identical to the administration’s attack on Indiana this year after Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a state budget depriving Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funds.
A federal judge last month blocked the defunding law from taking effect, based on the severity of Obama’s threat to withhold billions in Medicaid funds over Planned Parenthood’s $3 million portion.
Sting investigators with the pro-life group Live Action later found that Planned Parenthood’s claims as a critical Medicaid provider in Indiana were vastly inflated. Phone callers with Live Action seeking Medicaid services from Planned Parenthood’s 28 clinics during the defunded period were simply directed to one of 800 other facilities that provide the same care.