When state lawmakers passed a two-year budget in 2011 that moved $73 million from family planning services to other programs, the goal was largely political: halt the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood clinics.
Now they are facing the policy implications — and, in some cases, reconsidering.The latest Health and Human Services Commission projections being circulated among Texas lawmakers indicate that during the 2014-15 biennium, poor women will deliver an estimated 23,760 more babies than they would have, as a result of their reduced access to state-subsidized birth control. The additional cost to taxpayers is expected to be as much as $273 million — $103 million to $108 million to the state’s general revenue budget alone — and the bulk of it is the cost of caring for those infants under Medicaid.
This is a good example of bad governance. Texas legislators took their hatred of Planned Parendhood and gutted the funding for it…which is the main source of birth control for lower income citizens.
Without that birth control, more folks who already are under severe financial pressure with find themselves under even more severe financial pressure, which is where social services have to be increased to pick up the slack.
Short-sighted moralistic laws are never a good idea. This serves as the next real-world example of that truism.