The Texas Office of the Inspector General has sent investigators to Planned Parenthood clinics across the state today. The Dallas Morning News reports:
State investigators requested records from Planned Parenthood clinics in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Brownsville Thursday. The requests come three days after the office of the inspector general moved to eliminate Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid program.
While the Office of the Inspector General is not giving details of the investigation, pro-life groups and news agencies believe the investigators will be looking for additional evidence of Planned Parenthood’s lawbreaking and perpetual Medicaid fraud.
The Austin-American Statesman reported on an action taken earlier in the week by a Texas investigator:
On Monday, the lead investigator at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission sent letters informing all of the state’s Planned Parenthood affiliates that they were being dropped as a Medicaid health care provider.
“Earlier this year, you committed and condoned numerous acts of misconduct captured on video that reveal repeated program violations and breach the minimum standards of care required of a Medicaid enrollee,” Inspector General Stuart Bowen Jr. said in the letters.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott told Fox News that the reasons for removing Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid program extend far beyond the undercover videos. Planned Parenthood has been committing Medicaid fraud in the state for years, and settled a $4.3 million lawsuit in 2013. The suit was based on Planned Parenthood’s over-billing of Medicaid.
The Dallas Morning News reports: “Abbott said Wednesday that the Inspector General has found ‘more examples of Medicaid fraud by Planned Parenthood’ since the settlement was reached in 2013.” The current investigation, begun today, will search out evidence of fraud and may also uncover additional violations of law.
Abbott also said that removing scandal-ridden Planned Parenthood proved Texas’ “unyielding commitment to both protecting life and providing women’s health services.” He continued:
Ending the Medicaid participation of Planned Parenthood affiliates in the State of Texas is another step in providing greater access to safe healthcare for women while protecting our most vulnerable – the unborn.
In a press release, And Then There Were None (the ministry of former Texas Planned Parenthood Director, Abby Johnson) explains that the new investigation of Planned Parenthood was spurred, at least in part, by reports made by Planned Parenthood workers:
The OIG has received reports and testimonials from former Planned Parenthood clinic workers, speaking to their deplorable conditions and practices.
“It is long past time that inspectors, not just in Texas but across the country, step foot inside Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation,” commented Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who is now a pro-life and pro-woman advocate and the founder of And Then There Were None. “Kermit Gosnell was able to operate his ‘house of horrors’ in Philadelphia, where babies and women were left to die after botched abortions, because regulators and health inspectors turned a blind eye. I am thankful for the leadership of Governor Abbott and his team who have worked to protect women and babies, and support true healthcare options.” …
The following points were made by the Office of the Inspector General in Texas as reasons for the Medicaid program’s dismissal:
- That Planned Parenthood and its affiliates are no longer capable of performing medical services in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.
- The termination of all Planned Parenthood affiliates will not affect access to care because there are thousands of alternate providers in Texas including federally qualified health centers, Medicaid-certified rural health clinics, and other health care providers across the state that participate in the Texas Women’s Health Program and Medicaid. …
“Women don’t need Planned Parenthood. The idea that women will lose access to healthcare services if Planned Parenthood is defunded is preposterous,” Abby Johnson continued. “In Texas, there are 35 Planned Parenthood facilities, which only offer extremely limited gynecological care, compared to almost 5000 health care clinics in the Texas Women’s Health Program that provide comprehensive care for women, and their children.”