Feds to halt Texas Women's Health Program funding

AUSTIN, TX. (AP) - The federal government is making good on its promise to cut off all funding for the Texas Medicare Women's Health Program.

Cindy Mann, director of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Thursday she regretted the move. But she said her agency had no choice after Texas this week began enforcing a law barring state funding from clinics affiliated with abortion providers.

The Women's Health Program provides care to about 130,000 low-income participants, and federal funds had covered 90 percent of its costs.

Gov. Rick Perry has instructed state health officials to find funding for the about $40 million program without federal support.

Mann said an end to federal funding will be gradual and that support will continue for several months, or until Texas takes over the program.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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