By Cassy Fiano-Chesser
The state of Texas is attempting to recover Medicaid funds given to Planned Parenthood during a years-long legal fight, before the abortion giant was eventually cut from the state program.
In 2015, Planned Parenthood was the subject of an undercover investigation, which purported to show that some affiliates and employees of the corporation were participating in the trafficking of aborted body parts, which violates federal law. By 2016, Texas filed to remove Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. After a lengthy legal battle, the state of Texas succeeded. Attorney General Ken Paxton then sought to recover the funds dispensed to Planned Parenthood during that legal battle.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who suspended FDA approval of mifepristone earlier this year, presided over the lawsuit regarding the reimbursement on Tuesday. He did not issue a ruling right away.
“This baseless case is an active effort to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement. Yet Paxton said Planned Parenthood wrongly took money to which they knew they were not entitled.
“It is unthinkable that Planned Parenthood would continue to take advantage of funding knowing they were not entitled to keep it,” he said in a statement announcing the lawsuit last year. “I will not allow them to benefit from this abhorrent conduct after they were caught violating medical standards and lying to law enforcement.”
In addition to being accused of breaking the law regarding the sale of human body parts, Planned Parenthood was also fined in 2013 for fraudulently over-billing Texas Medicaid. “Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast improperly billed the Texas Medicaid program for products and services that were never actually rendered, not medically necessary, and were not covered by the Medicaid program – and were therefore not eligible for reimbursement,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement at the time.
Texas wasn’t the only victim of Planned Parenthood’s alleged swindling, however.
In Wisconsin, the Department of Health and Human Services found that as many as two-thirds of Planned Parenthood Wisconsin’s Medicaid payments were fraudulent, after auditing eight family planning facilities. Planned Parenthood had the highest percentage of over-billing. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland — now called Planned Parenthood North Central States — was also accused of committing Medicaid fraud, including patient abuses, the “unbundling” of services, and fraudulently tallying patients.
A report from the U.S. House of Representatives also found that Planned Parenthood abused taxpayer funds, giving money to their political action fund for lobbying, spending millions of dollars on travel, and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on themed fundraisers and lavish parties.
It remains unclear how Kacsmaryk will rule in this case, but what is clear is that Planned Parenthood has demonstrated a lack of prudence with taxpayer dollars.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and reposted with permission.