The budget bill Republicans will use to begin Obamacare’s repeal would also eliminate Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill,” Ryan said Thursday, according to The Hill.
Republicans plan to use reconciliation as a procedural tool that permits legislation pertaining to fiscal policy to pass with a simple majority and without filibuster by Democrats in the Senate. The GOP had previously passed legislation last year that repealed portions of Obamacare and defunded Planned Parenthood through the reconciliation process, but President Barack Obama vetoed it. The current Obamacare repeal bill with the provision to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s funding will soon go to the desk of a Republican president, Donald Trump.
“Planned Parenthood operates the nation’s largest chain of abortion clinics, annually extinguishing the lives of 330,000 developing babies, yet still gets half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding,” said Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor for The Catholic Association, in a statement. “It’s about time the abortion industry was cut off from the public trough and that money redirected to community health clinics.”
Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, however, condemned the move by Ryan and Republicans.
“I think what they’re trying to do will, if anything, drive up the rate of unintended pregnancies in this country,” Richards told CNN. “What the Speaker is trying to do here … is end access to everything that would prevent unintended pregnancy.”
Planned Parenthood has been under congressional investigation for over a year since the release of videos that alleged the abortion chain harvests the body parts of babies aborted in its clinics and sells them for a profit.
In March of 2015, a Government Accountability Office report confirmed that Planned Parenthood Federation of America and five other groups are using taxpayer funds to advocate for abortions as “reproductive health care.”
The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has referred Planned Parenthood and several biomedical procurement companies with which it partners for investigation for potential criminal violations. The Senate Judiciary Committee has also referred Planned Parenthood to both the FBI and the Justice Department for investigation and possible criminal prosecution.
The Obama administration has participated in the narrative set by the abortion industry and the mainstream media that Planned Parenthood provides family planning services to low-income women that cannot be obtained elsewhere.
States that have eliminated Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, however, have redirected it to other healthcare centers that have met the federal government’s criteria.
These federally qualified healthcare centers (FQHCs) provide more comprehensive services than Planned Parenthood to low-income families. Nationally, there are 13,000 FQHCs – a figure that outnumbers Planned Parenthood facilities by 20 to 1.
Planned Parenthood has just spent some $30 million in the 2016 election to help elect Democrats. In anticipation of the elimination of its taxpayer funding, the abortion business has raised over $300,000 in donations just since Election Day.
“This has to do with denying women access to family planning and cancer screenings, who will no longer be able to come to the healthcare provider of their choice,” Richards said. “It’s not about the federal funding. It’s the fact that women on Medicaid … will no longer be able to come to us.”
While Obamacare has benefited Planned Parenthood, however, many Americans have not been able to “keep their doctor,” or the healthcare provider of their choice as Obama promised, due to restricted panels in Obamacare health plans and the high cost of premiums.
In its newly released final report, the House Select Panel observed, “Medicaid accounts for 75% of U.S. public expenditures for ‘family planning services,’ up from 20% in 1980.”
“During fiscal year 2015, 43% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue derived from ‘government health services grants & reimbursements,’ at a price tag of $553,700,000,” the panel added, continuing:
Further, while abortion providers are not permitted to receive reimbursement for abortion from Medicaid, former employees of Planned Parenthood have testified that Planned Parenthood would separate out charges for services and products rendered in connection with abortions, such as office visits, ultrasounds, Rh factor tests, lab work, general counseling, and abortion aftercare, and submit those “fragmented” or “unbundled” charges as claims for Medicaid reimbursement.
Additionally, the House panel notes documentation of external reviews of Planned Parenthood affiliates’ financial data and practices and federal audits of state family planning programs that show Planned Parenthood affiliates have overbilled $132.4 million in Medicaid and other healthcare funding programs.