“The federal government’s proposed denial of Medicaid funds to the Texas Women’s Health Program threatens state sovereignty and the rule of law. Nothing in the federal Medicaid statutes prevents states from imposing their own requirements for qualified providers in addition to federal requirements. Indeed, the courts have long recognized this.
“Despite decades of precedent, the federal government has now discovered a new requirement limiting the ability of Texas to choose which providers qualify for its own program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ threat is an abuse of its grant-making authority – and a violation of the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“The federal government shouldn’t be able to dictate state policy to our elected representatives, especially when the people of Texas have clearly spoken. It is the duty of state government to represent the desires of its state’s citizens. The constitution guarantees the states a republican form of government. This federal interference negates that guarantee, and infringes on the representative government of the states.”
“The Supreme Court warned long ago in United States v. Butler that unless the power of the federal government to condition federal grants was checked, it could ‘become the instrument for total subversion of the governmental powers reserved to the individual states.’ If the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is allowed to retroactively impose new conditions on federal grants after the states have accepted them, it will signal a dangerous erosion of state sovereignty, and dramatically diminish the Constitutional protections that all Americans rely upon to secure their liberties.”
The Honorable Arlene Wohlgemuth is the Executive Director and Director of the Center for Health Care Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. She served 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives, specializing in health care issues.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.
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