"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness."
Rah, rah Texas GOP; from the Trib:
But after an initial feint at cutting off the money, the state has little to show for it. Abbott, who generated national media attention and launched fundraising emails over the issue, still expects “the appropriate authorities to move forward in eliminating taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood,” his spokeswoman said.Read the whole thing here.
Meanwhile, Texas Health and Human Services Inspector General Stuart Bowen, an Abbott appointee and the state official who led the move to defund the women’s health organization, faces an uncertain future as the state’s top fraud investigator, as his appointment expired in February. A spokesman for the governor declined to say this week if Bowen would be reappointed.
Planned Parenthood is by and large keeping its head down, continuing to provide services as the initial political hullabaloo has faded.
In the Medicaid fight, the governor’s public relations campaign began the same day last year that state inspectors delivered a notice of intent to boot Planned Parenthood from the public insurance program. A press release that day from the governor’s office boasted the headline: “Texas Eliminates Taxpayer Funding To Planned Parenthood Providers.” The next day, Abbott was interviewed about it on Fox News.
Texas gave Planned Parenthood 30 days to respond its notice and request an “informal resolution meeting” with health commission attorneys. If the organization did not act, the state said it would issue a “final notice of termination,” formally ending Planned Parenthood’s participation in Medicaid. That order would have gone into effect 15 days after the organization received it.
But the state has never issued the final notice.
It appears the inspector general’s delay in issuing the final termination of Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contract is out of line with the agency’s previous practices, according to a Tribune analysis of similar notices sent to other Medicaid providers.
For the most part, we think the Trib story speaks for itself. We also, for the most part, draw the obvious conclusion. That being said, we can't overlook an alternative hypothesis that reflects certain realities of how government operates that might be more charitable to Abbott.
One unfortunate reality of large government bureaucracies is that the bureaucrats frequently do whatever the heck they wish while ignoring the elected representatives of the people.
So, while we still think the obvious conclusion from the Trib article is also the most likely one, we can't overlook the possibility that Abbott is doing everything he can given the current system and that the bureaucrats are blowing him off (*).
* -- Of course, if this is the case, the real solution is to take a much deeper ax to the agency's budget than anyone at the capitol would be willing.