In testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday, an attorney asserted that the Obama administration’s actions to protect Planned Parenthood has given the nation’s largest abortion provider a special privilege not given to other Medicaid providers, while also “robbing the states of control over their own state Medicaid programs to protect a politically powerful but ethically and legally challenged organization.”
During a hearing titled “Protecting Infants: Ending Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Providers Who Violate the Law,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Casey Mattox said that after some states – including Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama – terminated their Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood, the Obama administration reinterpreted the Medicaid statute “claiming that those states lack the right to exclude individual providers suspected of violating the law at least where Planned Parenthood is concerned.”
The testimony comes as the committee is holding hearings following the release of a series of videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s practices of harvesting the body parts of aborted babies for sale on the open market.
Mattox explained that the Medicaid program – which is the primary channel through which Planned Parenthood obtains its federal funding – was created not as one program, but as 50 programs to be administrated by 50 different states that are free to create their own programs to best serve the needs of their citizens.
Observing the profits Planned Parenthood made last year according to its own annual report, Mattox said the abortion business “is unlike many other providers not only because of its profits, but also because it has also been able to resist much of the corrective action that other Medicaid providers with its track record would expect.”
Noting that Planned Parenthood – also unlike other Medicaid providers – has spent millions of dollars in elections supporting pro-abortion candidates, Mattox added that any other Medicaid provider would not have been surprised if its billing privileges to that program were suspended after being caught with the array of legal and ethical violations attributed to Planned Parenthood.
Mattox pointed out that, among other abuses, the abortion giant has been caught failing to report sexual abuse of minors at least a dozen times, and has been “specifically identified as the source of over $8 million in Medicaid overpayments by government audits, including submitting claims for abortion-related services.”
“Congress can reaffirm that the states have the authority to govern their own state Medicaid programs and make decisions that are in the interest of their citizens even where Planned Parenthood is concerned,” Mattox said.