Obama's Never-Confirmed Medicaid Director to Indiana: You Can't Defund Planned Parenthood

June 1, 2011 - 3:15 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Health and Human Services Department is telling the state of Indiana that its Medicaid plan, which bans funding to Planned Parenthood, is illegal and must be changed.

In a letter sent to Indiana's Medicaid director, and obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, Medicaid Administrator Donald M. Berwick says Indiana's plan will improperly bar Medicaid beneficiaries from receiving services. Berwick writes that federal law requires Medicaid beneficiaries to be able to obtain services from any provider qualified to provide services.

The notification comes after Indiana passed a law banning federal funding to Planned Parenthood, and as other states consider similar bans. Indiana can change its plan to conform with federal law, or the state could face penalties.