Last February on these pages, I wrote about the challenges facing Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, our nation’s largest chain of murderers of pre-born children (329,445 in 2011 alone) and recipient of $500 million in federal and state taxpayer funds in 2011. In my blog, I mentioned how 2011 had been a very tough year for Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. At that time, I wrote the following:
In February 2011, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to stop all funding for Planned Parenthood, though this legislation failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Prior to the vote in the House of Representatives, the pro-life organization Live Action released several undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood employees aiding sex traffickers and covering up the sexual abuse of minors. Afterwards, nine states voted to stop abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, from receiving government funds. The Obama administration blocked the states from implementing those laws. In its latest published annual report for 2009-2010, Planned Parenthood had a budget of almost $1.05 billion, of which 46 percent was federal and state money. It performed 329,445 abortions.
But 2012 is also shaping up to be an even worse year for Planned Parenthood. First, there is the potential for another seismic shift in Congress and the White House after the elections of 2012. But more ominously for Planned Parenthood, states continue to investigate and to de-fund Planned Parenthood. For example, in Indiana, despite the Obama Regime’s second declaration last week that Indiana’s attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood was invalid, Indiana is now considering fighting for its right to revoke taxpayer funding for it under Medicaid. Indiana is entitled to its public policy that tax dollars not pay for abortions.
As Indiana taxpayer funds are fungible, Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood are used to subsidize its abortion services. Were it not so, then Planned Parenthood and the Regime would not be fighting as vigorously as they are. In Tennessee, after the legislature and Governor Haslam cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood, the federal government sent $400,000 in taxpayer funding to the local affiliate of Planned Parenthood from the Title X Family Planning Services Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Grants Management. In a prime example of Orwellian-speak, Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis boasted, “Planned Parenthood . . . has been helping Memphis and Shelby County residents get the health care they need to lead happier, healthier lives for years.”
But the greatest dangers facing Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are allegations of financial fraud. Even in President Obama’s adopted home state of Illinois, Illinois Planned Parenthood’s medical director abortionist Caroline Hoke is being investigated for overbilling Medicaid. Planned Parenthood of Illinois (“PPI”) CEO Carole Brite denied any wrongdoing and called the investigation a “routine review,” but she did say that PPI will have to repay the state. She declined to say how much, however. (According to Crain’s Chicago Business, one half of PPI’s $25 million in revenue comes from Medicaid for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.) Of course, if PPI did nothing wrong, then why is it repaying Illinois?
And last week, another federal lawsuit was unsealed against Planned Parenthood. In the lawsuit, Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Sue Thayer alleges that Planned Parenthood submitted nearly one-half million “false, fraudulent and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements” to Medicaid from 2002 to 2009, and failed to meet acceptable standards of medical practice. The total amount of false claims total nearly $28 million. Ms. Thayer filed her lawsuit under a federal law that allows “whistleblowers” with inside information to expose fraudulent billing by government contractors. (This past March, a similar lawsuit was unsealed against a Texas Planned Parenthood affiliate.) If Ms. Thayer prevails in her lawsuit, then Planned Parenthood of the Heartland may be ordered to pay the United States and Iowa as much as $5.5 billion in False Claim Act damages and penalties. This would, of course, bankrupt the local affiliate. Moreover, the people involved could face prosecution for fraud. But this might not happen under Attorney General Eric Holder.
One of Ms. Thayer’s attorneys, Michael J. Norton, recently said, “People may hold different views about abortion, but everyone can agree that Planned Parenthood should play by the same rules as everyone else. It certainly isn’t entitled to any public funds, especially if it is defrauding Medicaid and the American taxpayer.” Thank you, Ms. Thayer, for your courage to do the right thing.
Of course, the battle for the sanctity and protection of life in our society is a long-term war. On a personal note, on my daily drive from my office to my home, I pass in front of one of the Planned Parenthood facilities in my hometown. Each night, as I drive past the facility, I pray that God will bring the walls tumbling down. In my mind’s eye, the word picture is that of Joshua marching around the walls of the ancient city of Jericho. However, God is infinitely more subtle than my view. Psalm 7 reminds us that, “[The violent wicked] dig a hole and scoop it out, and fall into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.” After all, ancient wisdom reminds us that God’s millwheel of justice turns slowly, but grinds exceedingly fine.