Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri called on the Biden Administration to intervene over a new state emergency Medicaid rule.
The new emergency Medicaid rule took effect Wednesday, prompting funding concerns for all Planned Parenthood locations in the state.
The rule, set by the state Department of Health and Senior Services, has the potential to remove Medicaid reimbursement for all health services provided by Planned Parenthood chapters throughout the state.
It allows the DHSS to turn over inspection reports of Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis office — the only one where abortions are performed — to another state agency, which could then find reasons to deny Medicaid reimbursements.
Yamelsie Rodríguez the CEO and President at the Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri said, “The emergency rule process discriminates against Planned Parenthood by singling us out and treating us differently than any other qualified Medicaid provider in the state.”
The action comes as an estimated 275,000 Missourians are newly eligible for Medicaid coverage under a voter-approved expansion program upheld by a state judge earlier this year.
Planned Parenthood provides preventative health care, Rodríguez said.
“More than 4,300 people rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, STI (sexually transmitted infection) testing and treatment, and other preventative health care services,” she said.
Michelle Trupiano, an executive director at Missouri Family Health Council said, “The need for publicly funded family planning services already outweighs the capacity of our current safety net provider.”
Columbia residents gathered Oct. 2 at the Boone County Courthouse Plaza in support of reproductive rights, signaling community support for funded family planning services.