GOP to HHS: Let states cut off Planned Parenthood

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Federal law already bans federal funding for abortion; Indiana's law would cut off all of Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding because it provides abortions in addition to a range of other health and family planning services.

The Health and Human Services Department said the tactic is illegal. States cannot determine whether a healthcare provider is qualified to offer Medicaid-funded services based solely on the fact that they offer a specific procedure, HHS said.

But the Republican senators, led by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), said in their letter that HHS's determination "represents a significant departure from Medicaid’s longstanding practice of having the states – not the federal government – set reasonable standards for qualified providers."