Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast actually settled for $4.3 mil, not $1.3 mil, for Medicaid fraud

ppfraud-320x240Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced on July 24 that his office had obtained a $1.4 million settlement against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast for Medicaid fraud, with the settlement to be split between the state of Texas, the federal government, and the whistleblower (former PPGC employee Karen Reynolds).

It turns out the AG was apparently only announcing his state’s cut. The total settlement is actually $4.3 million – almost $3 million more than previously known. From the Houston Chronicle today:

Planned Parenthood’s Houston-based affiliate clarified Tuesday that it settled for $4.3 million, three times the $1.4 million that Abbott reported a week ago.

His spokesman tried to explain the discrepancy, indicating Abbott intended to announce the smaller amount, which represents the “state’s designation.” But it’s unclear why Abbott wouldn’t have announced the whole amount.

The attorney general also jumped the gun with his press release, announcing the settlement before it had been finalized. (It has since been signed by all parties.)

When I called the AG’s press office to help me understand the discrepancy  I was greeted by a inexplicably rude man who wouldn’t even give me his name. His response before hanging up, “It means the investigation is not over.” Ok. Still don’t understand, but there you go.

Despite the confusion this would all seem to be good news, although the original charge was that PPGC “submitted more than $30 million in fraudulent bills between 2003 and 2009,” according to the Houston Chronicle, July 30.

“If the original claim that PP defrauded the taxpayer of $30 million is near accurate, it means that PP settled for 15 cents on the dollar,” wrote American Life League’s Jim Sedlak to me in an email. “No incentive there to stop committing Medicaid fraud.”

Abby Johnson’s lawsuit against the same Planned Parenthood affiliate is still not settled. Abby alleges PPGC committed “over $5.7 million in fraud,” according to her legal representation, Alliance Defending Freedom.

[HT: Jim Sedlak; graphic via ADF]

7 thoughts on “Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast actually settled for $4.3 mil, not $1.3 mil, for Medicaid fraud”

  1. Methinks that the 30 million in fraudulent payments would have a slim chance of seeing the light of day, so it was wise to settle even for the 4.3 million.  Obviously AG Abbott wanted to take all the credit thus the announcement specific to Texas as he is on the ballot for the Gov’s mansion. 
    If nothing else, the Feds should take a closer notice of PP and “kick their butts” over the pond to Belgium.  Just a suggestion.   Will the current Administration get a clue remains to be seen.  

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  2. Great work if you can get it.
    Jesse Jackson and Ted Kennedy were pro-life before Roe v Wade and the political power it offered. It is not outside of general democratic party values to be pro-life – to stand up for those who are powerless and cannot stand up and speak for themselves due to unequitable power distribution in society.
    We democrats claim to be the party that looks out for the powerless and dis-enfranchised. We often try to claim the informed, educated, scientific, intelligent view, also. The not-yet-born fit right in there. They are powerless and it is recognized scientifically that as far as the embryologists and the rest of the science establishment knows, life for al practical purposes ought to be defined as starting at conception.
    We have sold out, though. We chose to make one line of political focus be women’s rights, and have thrown “reproductive choice” in there along with other women’s rights issues: equal pay, protection from sexual harassment, family leave, hiring discrimination, and other female-focused political issues.
    The line of political thought leading up to abortion as a woman’s well-guarded right is long. But once abortion was legal, there was money in it. Since that time, the abortion business has been able to $upport “democrat” candidates and officials (elected judges, etc.) and thus curry favor.
    This advanced to policies that steer a steady stream of money to Planned Parenthood, who does a shell game and moves money from clinical service billing to their political arm, supporting candidates. So, if a candidate can sustain the funding stream to PP, especially if it is tax dollars where things can be influenced more readily by a legislator or judge, then the politician has a steady stream into his or her campaign fund and that of the democratic party generally.
    Many PPs have been caught red-handed committing this Medicaid fraud. This was likely just a well-working, well-recognized pass-through for mutual political power.
    It is an uphill road to be an involved, elected democrat that is pro-life. I hear the rhetoric regularly – you will make yourself a pariah, unless you develop a “Crazy Aunt Martha” persona tolerated by others – this is acceptable for those recognized as “religious” (also not a popularity winning position, but not unacceptable, especially for our token minorities).
    However, if this money loop can be broken, pro-life democrats can rise in the party and again succeed. Some are truly pro-abortion, while the enthusiasm for others I am sure will die once the election fund is no longer getting stuffed, and the pro-abortion can be portrayed as a liability.
    Right now, the pro-abortion status quo takes a great deal of continued rhetorical screeching and mental gymnastics to be sustained.
    PP has been hit so much in these recent years, especially in Texas, that we may see the pro-abortion power dissipate. Once a few rural or suburban Christian democrats or Hispanic democrats get elected to modest but decent positions such as Texas House, while being openly pro-life, the turn of the tide will be apparent.
    Once the “astroturf” purchased support is decimated, and the constant pro-abortion ringing in the ears is silenced, politicians and voters can make their own minds up.
    PP knows this.
    PP also knows: abortion is their one-trick pony. The STD testing and BC pill prescribing, and Clinical Breast Exams may bring them lots of money, but these are very very easy things for most any medical setting to carry out.
    To sustain political power, they MUST have the abortion business. To keep the abortion business, they MUST line the pockets of the politicians. How else can you buy such fervent support from professed Catholics, for Goodness’ sake?
    4.5 million may pale compared to what they netted, but it is a huge chop. Along with other changes in Texas and elsewhere, the power has to be starting to wane.

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  3.  “It is not outside of general democratic party values to be pro-life – to stand up for those who are powerless and cannot stand up and speak for themselves due to unequitable power distribution in society.”
    .
    True.
    .
    However, the democrat party isn’t run by those who believe in any principles.  They just give lip service to those principles.  To be sure, there are people in the democrat party with principles but if they exercise any power, they are run out.  It is much like the republican party.  Probably much good could be accomplished by negotiation and legislation formed by the principled members of each party. Sadly, those folks do not control either party.

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