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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Missouri's Medicaid block: denying patients choice in trusted providers

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Thursday, April 25, 2024   

The Missouri Legislature has approved a law to stop its Medicaid program, known as MO HealthNet, from paying Planned Parenthood for medical services for Medicaid patients.

The decision follows a court ruling which found not reimbursing Planned Parenthood through Medicaid goes against Missouri's constitution.

Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said they have joined forces with Planned Parenthood St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri and stand behind providing health care to those who need it. She argued the Legislature is causing confusion despite a clear decision from the highest court.

"Despite the court's repeatedly ruling that 'defunding' Planned Parenthood health centers is unconstitutional, lawmakers continue to deny critical care like birth control, cancer screenings, wellness exams and STI testing and treatment from the patients who need it," Wales stressed.

According to the Missouri Family Health Council, Planned Parenthood health centers serve nearly half of patients who rely on family planning safety net providers in the state. Planned Parenthood Great Plains and St. Louis Region Southwest Missouri will continue serving patients and is looking for alternative solutions for funding.

The new law also blocks Planned Parenthood from being a recognized provider in the state's Medicaid program. Wales pointed out it could hurt health care for people who rely on the safety net.

"There are not enough other providers in the health care safety-net system to absorb Planned Parenthood's patients," Wales pointed out. "At Planned Parenthood, we'll continue to do everything we can to serve our patients, no matter what."

Planned Parenthood Great Plains provides health care to more than 30,000 people in 13 health centers across Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma. The St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri chapter has been serving for more than 90 years.


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