"There's a lot of anxiety for thousands of women in Texas today about their health care," MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell alarmed viewers of her 1 p.m. Eastern program today. "They're going to lose health care coverage this week, on Wednesday, when the Texas state legislature enforces a law cutting funds to any health care center affiliated with an abortion provider, and that means Planned Parenthood," Mitchell noted as she introduced the Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg to elaborate. [emphases mine]
What commenced was a segment -- entitled onscreen, "Women's Health Under Attack" -- devoted to painting the decision by the Texas legislature as an assault on women's health care, even though the health care provided by Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas is far from comprehensive, as a cursory review of the organization's website clearly spells out.
Goldberg and Mitchell complained about the Planned Parenthood defunding in light of the fact that Texas has the highest percentage of women lacking health insurance of any state in the Union. Of course, women need health care that extends beyonds their reproductive systems, but the Women's Health Program that Goldberg is so concerned about is chiefly concerned with "family planning."
Planned Parenthood claims to offer "general health care" services at numerous clinics across the Lone Star State, but alas, its definition of "general health care" can be as narrow as simply offering cholesterol screenings, as is the case in the Abilene Perini clinic.
"We may refer you to a primary care physician if your test results are not in a healthy (normal) range," the website for that clinic notes. In other words, don't expect the proverbial country doctor to be on call in your average Texas Planned Parenthood clinic.
Other clinics, like the Planned Parenthood in Addison, Texas, provides more services, but still not comprehensive general medical care:
Addison Clinic offers the following general health care services:
- anemia testing
- cholesterol screening
- diabetes screening
- flu vaccination
- high blood pressure screening
- pregnancy planning services
And of course, those services, many of which you can get at the neighborhood pharmacy, are not necessarily free-of-charge:
Please contact this health center for general health care services pricing information.
Payment is expected at time of service unless other arrangements have been previously made.
Sure, Medicaid is accepted, but by not stretch of the imagination is the clinic a substitute for seeing a primary-care physician.
It appears that Goldberg also misled MSNBC viewers when she insisted that, "in Texas, the 14 Planned Parenthood clinics that do abortions are completely, administratively separate from the 51 Planned Parenthood clinics that provide other kinds of health care.... So one of the ironies here is this has left the abortion providers completely unscathed."
That seems true of most Planned Parenthood clinics in the state, however, a search of Planned Parenthood's site shows there are two clinics in Texas that offer both "general health services" and "women's health care" as well as "abortion services." They are: