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Weekly Updates from Attorney General Ken Paxton: January 20, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017 – Austin



Have you had the chance to read the op-ed I published on I held former President Obama’s feet to the coals for his hypocrisy regarding health care reform. For the last few months he and his party have done little else but gripe that Republicans’ determination to repeal Obamacare was heartless and exhibited a callous disregard for this country’s most vulnerable citizens. Forgive me, but I would put more stock in that line of criticism had President Obama not consistently imperiled the poor’s access to health care for the sake of the left’s social agenda.

Right at this moment, for example, had my office not filed suit and secured a preliminary injunction, the Obama administration would have been content to deprive the state of Texas of $42.4 billion a year in Medicaid funding, so long as the action forced more medical providers to perform abortions and gender reassignment surgeries. Over 4.1 million Texans are enrolled in Medicaid according to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), approximately 3 million of whom are children. For an administration that has been highly vocal over Texas’ decision to waive Medicaid expansion, President Obama seems pretty willing to withhold welfare services.

The hypocrisy is on double display with respect to Planned Parenthood. Back in December, HHSC notified Planned Parenthood that its Texas affiliates no longer qualified for the state’s Medicaid Program. Predictably, the left has responded in outrage. Outlet after outlet has denounced the state of Texas, contending that HHSC’s decision would seal the door to reproductive services statewide. What the left downplays is that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates stand to lose only $3.1 million in public funds, a mere fraction of their budget. Also conveniently forgotten is that video evidence showed that Planned Parenthood trafficked fetal body parts and, as my office argued at court this week, blatantly violated the legal standard of care demanded of Medicaid participants. 

I ask you which decision is most likely to hurt Texas’ sick and disadvantaged: denying an entire state’s citizenry access to federal Medicaid funding or reinvesting a state’s monies to health organizations that were not found to value profits over the dignity of their patients. 

What Americans have to realize is that the radical left does not care for the poor. Rather, the former president and his congressional allies treat the poor as hostages, only useful because concern over their welfare will keep the detractors of the culture war, like Texas, in line. Their rhetoric hits the right chords, but their policies reveal their true priorities. The hypocrisy, to be frank, is tiresome. Earlier this morning, America greeted a new commander in chief. Perhaps now we can finally speak plainly and debate how to best help those who hover over poverty’s doors.

A full version of my op-ed can be found here:

Very Truly Yours,

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Ken Paxton