By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D. NRL-ETF Director of Education & Research
They were in on it from the beginning, so it is hardly surprising to see Planned Parenthood now not just promoting, but standing poised to reap the financial benefits of ObamaCare.
After working and spending a great deal to get Obama elected, Planned Parenthood was one of the privileged groups invited to the President’s “health care summit” at the White House early in Obama’s first term in March of 2009. Though it was unknown what final shape the healthcare plan would take at the time, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards offered her organization as a model of what the Planned Parenthood website termed “a safety-net health care provider and entry point into the health care system for millions of men and women.”
Planned Parenthood fought for and defended the health plan, pushing to get it passed in March of 2010, and then helping to keep in office the politicians needed to keep it from being modified in any significant way that would threaten either the plan or their abortion empire. Obama and his Senate allies responded in kind, defending and promoting the abortion giant and making federal funding of Planned Parenthood the one non-negotiable in high stakes budget talks.
It has been a very profitable relationship for Planned Parenthood.
Today, as ObamaCare begins it rollout, Planned Parenthood stands poised to bring in hordes of new customers, rake in even more money, and further expand its already massive abortion empire.
Lest anyone forget, Planned Parenthood is already America’s largest abortion chain and is flush with cash, much of it taken from the pockets of taxpayers, performing 333,964 abortions in 2011, more than a quarter of all abortions done in the U.S., and bringing in nearly $1.2 billion in revenues for the fiscal year ending 6/30/12.
Planned Parenthood is, of course, doing the standard thing that political groups do, issuing press releases, sending spokespeople out to talk to the press, penning op-ed pieces, but as someone who stands to gain from new legislation, has gone much further.
Go to the website today and you’ll see a box in the main graphic on the front page declaring “OBAMACARE + PLANNED PARENTHOOD HEALTH CENTERS A perfect match!” You can click a link to “GET THE FACTS.” Before leaving the front page, though, just below the place where you can enter information to “Find a Health Center” in your area, there is a box where you are offered the opportunity to “Find a HEALTH PLAN in the marketplace that includes Planned Parenthood.” All you need to do is type in your Zip Code.
Both links on the health plans appear to go to section of the website which will talk up what visitors to Planned Parenthood’s website might identify as popular benefits of the law, such as kids staying on parents’ health care plans until age 26, coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and subsidies for health insurance.
Some explanation of the new bureaucracy with “exchanges,” “navigators,” different categories of plans, etc. is given, but little to nothing about problems with the ObamaCare website, or the possible cancellation of current policies. There is a cost calculator on at least one of Planned Parenthood’s pages on the health plans connected to a group called “Get Covered America” which is part of “Enroll America,” but it is unclear how the numbers are generated or how reliable they may be.
Over and over, of course, there are links to “find a Planned Parenthood health center near you” or to find plans that include Planned Parenthood.
Under ObamaCare, a certain number of healthcare providers, particularly in poor areas, are to be designated and contracted with as “essential community providers” in order for a health insurance plan to be “certified” for participation in an Exchange(consumers signing up with certified plans from Exchanges qualify for significant insurance premium subsidies from the government; in theory, this would enable insurance companies to earn potentially greater profits by attracting and then collecting premiums from previously uninsured persons).
It should surprise no one that under this new scheme, the Obama administration has designated over 580 local Planned Parenthood centers as “essential community providers” (pretty much in keeping with the vision PP President Richards expressed at that health care summit at the White House back in 2009). Many of these, of course, also just happen to be abortion clinics.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. As NRL News Today reported on September 5, 2013, three Planned Parenthood affiliates have qualified to serve as “Navigators” under the new health plan, receiving federal funding to the tune of over $655,000.
Navigators are employees paid to help people pick a health plan and complete their applications. In the process, they will help consumers figure out if they qualify for subsidies to cover their insurance premium costs or for other government assistance such as Medicaid.
Though Navigators are supposed to “[p]rovide information and services in a fair, accurate, and impartial manner,” that they work through Planned Parenthood will be hard for applicants to miss and it seems difficult to imagine that those Navigators won’t share about all the “wonderful” services that Planned Parenthood offers.
States that operate their own exchanges may fund “in-person assisters” that perform many of the functions done by Navigators. Minnesota is one such state and gave the regional Planned Parenthood affiliate a grant to help enroll residents in the exchange.
Planned Parenthood affiliates in Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Ohio have also been designated as “Certified Application Counselor” (CAC) organizations, meaning that, though they will not be paid by the exchanges, as the Navigators or in-person assisters may be, these affiliates can certify paid staff or volunteers as official counselors to help people through the process according to what the CACs see as the “best interest” of the applicant.
Even if one somehow believed, against all the evidence, that these new health insurance enrollment plans and Exchanges really did serve the “best interests” of the uninsured (and the previously insured now joining their ranks), and even put aside their radical abortion agenda, it would still be difficult to see Planned Parenthood’s motives as pure here.
Let Paul Knepprath, vice president for policy and public affairs for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California make some of Planned Parenthood’s less well advertised motivations plain for you.
Speaking before a California Building Standards Commission meeting considering higher building standards for health care clinics (i.e., requirements stipulating that only union plumbers can do the work) on November 5, 2013, Knepprath said the following:
The Affordable Care Act is being implemented as we speak, on January 1, people getting coverage.
There’s an expectation of expansion of facilities statewide to take in the new people who have insurance, but also those who will be in expanded Medi-cal program here in California.
Thus, there will be a redevelopment and building of new clinic facilities across the state.
At what pace I don’t know but the issue of an exemption for some of the building standards is a very important one to Planned Parenthood.
The cost associated with meeting the higher standards are significant in some cases and they are important especially for organizations like ours that are serving the very poorest of Californians and trying to get them the health care that they need.
What Knepprath has done here is to explicitly connect the roll out of ObamaCare to the “redevelopment and building of new clinic facilities” to address the influx of new patients brought in by the expansion of insurance coverage.
The more people that Planned Parenthood signs up for ObamaCare, the more patients they expect to have coming to their clinics. And, in California alone, they anticipate such significant numbers that they are already thinking in terms of the “redevelopment and building of new clinic facilities across the state.”
California, as regular readers of NRL News Today know, recently passed legislation to allow nurse practitioners (and other non-physicians) to perform abortions, thereby significantly expanding the pool of potential abortionists in that state.
Now, with a steady stream of new patients and new money flowing in from ObamaCare, one expects that Planned Parenthood is anticipating opening and staffing countless clinics, not only in California, but throughout the U.S.
And given that abortion has long been one of their biggest money-makers and a “service” that Planned Parenthood has been adding to so many of its “health centers” across the country, you can bet that a lot of those new centers will be abortion clinics, funded by dollars generated by the “Affordable Care Act.”
Should you expect any different when you tag the largest abortion chain as a legitimate promoter and provider of “health care?”