8th Circuit refuses to reconsider order ending Medicaid money for Planned Parenthood | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 13, 2017

8th Circuit refuses to reconsider order ending Medicaid money for Planned Parenthood

Posted By on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 3:35 PM

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a brief order today refusing a rehearing of a three-judge panel's decision and also refusing a request for the entire court to hear Planned Parenthood's appeal of a decision upholding Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order that Arkansas stop allowing Planned Parenthood to participate in the Medicaid program.

Two judges, Wollman and Kelly, would have granted an en banc hearing. The 8th Circuit, in shutting off Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood, departs from decisions entered in four other U.S. circuit courts on similar cases.

Federal District Judge Kristine Baker, citing precedent in other courts, had blocked the state from stopping funding. But a three-judge panel overturned Baker.

The decision affects some $50,000 worth of medical services annually — not abortions, but health screening and family planning and other medical services. Hutchinson ordered participation in the program stopped because of reports in other states — debunked in every investigation that has been mounted — in improprieties in some other Planned Parenthood clinics in providing fetal tissue for medical research. Patients in Arkansas said federal law required the state to allow them to use medical providers of their choice. The 8th Circuit, notoriously conservative and anti-abortion, said that right was "ambiguous," even through four other circuit courts decided it differently.

An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the difference between circuit court rulings is now a possibility.

Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge have consistently misrepresented the facts of the case, claiming that misconduct led to the decision to deprive Arkansas women of their preferred medical provider. No misconduct was ever alleged by Arkansas Planned Parenthood affiliates and none has been proven anywhere else.

Planned Parenthood said in a prepared statement it was evaluationg options but would "keep fighting for our patients in Little Rock and Fayetteville to have access to critical services.”

Attorney General Rutledge was "pleased" and again repeated the grossly dishonest statement that Planned Parenthood "could not contest in federal court Arkansas’s determination that a medical provider has engaged in misconduct that merits disqualification from the Medicaid program.” It could and did and even the 8th Circuit didn't say that. It just said it didn't find an absolute right for a Medicaid recipient to choose their provider.  Her spokesman refused to respond to a question about Rutledge’s misleading characterization of facts of the case.


Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Moving deck chairs

    Governor Hutchinson has promised to soon reveal his ideas for "transforming government" — a reorganization aimed at reducing the number of departments that report to the governor.
    • Sep 20, 2018
  • Ascent closing three centers for children

    Ascent Children's Health Services is closing facilities in Arkadelphia, North Little Rock and West Memphis that provide Medicaid-covered early intervention day treatment and outpatient behavioral health services to about 400 children. Other providers will be sought, though Clark County at the moment has no early intervention program.
    • Sep 19, 2018
  • Trump: 'I don't have an attorney general'

    Donald Trump went off on Jeff Sessions in an interview today. Sounds like the attorney general is on a short rope.
    • Sep 19, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back.
    • Mar 10, 2017


Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation