TFN Statement on Speaker Straus’ Call for Investigating Texas HHSC Contracting

by TFN

Today TFN’s Kathy Miller called for any investigation into contracting at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to include an examination of how state tax dollars were sent to an anti-abortion advocacy group to provide health care services for which it was unqualified. Following is our press release.

TEXAS FREEDOM NETWORK STATEMENT ON SPEAKER STRAUS’ CALL FOR INVESTIGATING TEXAS HHSC CONTRACTING

Any Investigation Should Include an Examination of HHSC Contracts with Unqualified Anti-Abortion Organization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2018

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller is calling for any investigation into contracting practices at the state’s Health and Human Services Commission to include an examination of taxpayer dollars thrown away in agency contracts with an unqualified anti-abortion organization called the Heidi Group.

House Speaker Joe Straus on Wednesday called for an investigation into HHSC contracting after the State Auditor’s Office released a report showing the agency improperly allowed a contractor, Superior HealthPlan, Inc., to divert nearly $30 million in taxpayer dollars to incentives and bonuses to medical providers’ employees. TFN’s Miller said:

“Any investigation should also examine how in the world an unqualified anti-abortion advocacy group ended up with a multi-million-dollar contract to provide reproductive health services through the state’s family planning program and then failed to carry out its promises. Giving tax dollars to political advocacy organizations like the Heidi Group under the guise of providing reproductive health care is simply a lie that hurts both taxpayers and Texans who need that care.”

The state in 2016 awarded contracts worth $7 million to the anti-abortion Heidi Group for working with subcontractors to provide reproductive health care to low-income Texans. But the Heidi Group had no experience providing reproductive health care. Although it received nearly $1 million in state funding, the Heidi Group predictably failed to deliver on its contracts. So HHSC said last summer that it would redistribute remaining funding from the Heidi Group to other contractors. It’s unclear yet whether the Heidi Group’s contract has been renewed for the current fiscal year.

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who support religious freedom and individual liberties.

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