posted at 8:41 pm on January 4, 2017 by John Sexton
A House investigative panel led by the GOP has released a 400-page report which calls for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. The report ends with a series of recommendations including a section titled “Recommendations for Stewardship of Taxpayer Funds.” The report reads in part:
Planned Parenthood affiliates and clinics have repeatedly neglected their fiduciary duty requiring good stewardship of federal taxpayer dollars through the following: careless management and failed compliance with Medicaid billing procedures; violating federal laws and regulations pertaining to patient consent and the privacy rights of their patients; changing the method of abortion to increase procurement of fetal tissue for which they received a per tissue payment; and a general disinterest in clinical integrity. The Panel recommends that Planned Parenthood lose all federal funding, including reimbursements for Medicaid services.
The Associated Press breaks down the amount of federal funding Planned Parenthood receives:
Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report shows that of more than $1.1 billion in yearly revenue, around half — $554 million — comes from government grants and reimbursements. It provides no breakdown.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that Planned Parenthood receives about $450 million annually in federal funds, mostly $390 million in reimbursements from the Medicaid program for low-income people.
In addition to the recommendations, the report also includes 15 criminal and regulatory referrals to federal and state authorities for further investigation. Here’s a sample (from page 33 of the report):
1) The Panel discovered that the University of New Mexico may have been violating its state’s Anatomical Gift Act by receiving tissue from a late-term abortion clinic (Southwestern Women’s Options). Referred to the Attorney General of New Mexico.
2 & 3) The Panel conducted a forensic accounting analysis of StemExpress’ limited production and determined that it may have been profiting from the sale of baby body parts. Referral sent to El Dorado, California, District Attorney, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
4) The Panel learned that StemExpress and certain abortion clinics may have violated the HIPAA privacy rights of vulnerable women for the sole purpose of increasing the harvesting of fetal tissue to make money. Referred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Last month the Obama administration issued a regulation aimed at preventing states from defunding Planned Parenthood. The rule prevents states from cutting reimbursements to organizations which also perform abortions. It is set to take effect two days before President-elect Trump takes office. Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards celebrated the new rule and praised President Obama as a champion for women’s health. The new rule can be reversed by the Trump administration, but doing so will require several months or a vote by the House and Senate.