At the opening of the hearing, Rep. Chaffetz broke down the half of a billion dollars of federal funding that Planned Parenthood receives. I understand that most of the federal money comes in the form of Medicaid reimbursements. And that sounds legitimate, unless you consider those lawsuits Planned Parenthood settled because they were overcharging for services. What remains unclear to me is where does the $60 million of taxpayer dollars in question come from? And how does Planned Parenthood spend it? As many have discussed, money is fungible. If you are doing pregnancy tests in the front room, and abortions in the back room, with the office in between, you can’t really say tax payer money is not paying for abortion. It’s all happening under the same roof, using the same lights, the same electricity, the same staff, and so on…
Questions of the (yester) Day
with a few excerpts from Cecile Richards’ responses
Surely you don’t expect us to be easier on you because you are a woman. — Rep. John Duncan, R-TN
- Cecile said “Absolutely not. That’s not how my mamma raised me.”
Addressing her claim that a lot of women would not have access to certain kinds of health care if it were not for Planned Parenthood, Rep. John Duncan, R-TN, asks Ms. Richards if she is aware of and considered the nearly 9,727 health care service delivery sites; 4,082 rural health clinics; 1,200 federally funded qualified health centers that operate over 9,000 other sites; and 2,000 pregnancy health centers, 80 percent of which don’t receive any federal funding at all?
- Cecile Richards deflects the reality of the abundant health care options in the United States, and goes on to acknowledges that what she knows about are the patients that go to Planned Parenthood.
There are 2.3 million private charitable organizations, almost all of which receive no federal funding. Do you know how many of these receive 41 percent of their fudning from taxpayers? — Rep. John Duncan, R-TN
- Cecile Richards responds by asking who is seeing 2.7 million patients?
Do you think it is right in a free country to force people to contribute to your organization, because that is what you are doing, taking taxpayer money from people who oppose what you are doing? — Rep. John Duncan, R-TN
- Cecile Richards deflects the question.
Do you defend the sale of baby body parts? — Rep. John Duncan, R-TN
- No. Cecile Richards launches into a discussion of fetal tissue donation.
Rep. John Duncan, R-TN, uses the last minute of his time to say that he believes that Cecile Richards apology was more like that of a criminal who is sorry for getting caught.
If men in this society are not allowed to stand and defend the women and children they love, what has this country fallen to? — Rep. Tim Walberg, R-MI
The 13,000 FQHCs provide the same services Planned Parenthood provides. But emergency first responder care; mammograms; immunizations; diabetes and glaucoma screenings; cholesterol screenings; pediatric eye, ear, dental screenings; well child services, radiological services; cardiovascular blood tests; bone mass measurement, nurse on staff — all of those on your Web site you don’t provide? — Rep. Tim Walberg, R-MI
How many affiliates have mammogram machines? — Rep. Mia Love, R-UT
- In a complicated and unclear way, Cecile Richards says “none.”
How much money do you make on cancer screenings? — Rep. Mia Love, R-UT
- None. Reimbursements.
How much money do you make on abortions? — Rep. Mia Love, R-UT
- I can’t tell you.
Why have abortions increased and cancer screenings gone down? — Rep. Mia Love, R-UT
- Cecile Richards wanders off-point.
Why would it be so offensive if we took funding and put it into clinics where those numbers are actually increasing? — Rep. Mia Love, R-UT
- Cecile Richards does not answer and instead explains that reimbursements go up as number of Medicaid patients go up.
You can’t say Planned Parenthood is the only place? — Rep. Mia Love, R-UT
Mr, Chairman, if you could help in getting some of the numbers I asked for, that would be really helpful. — Rep. Mia Love, R-UT
Abortion is legal in the United States of America, is that correct Ms. Richards? — Rep. Lieu, D-CA
- That is correct.
And we don’t live in a theocracy? The law of the land is not the Old Testament or the New Testament or the Koran? The law of the land is the Constitution of the United States, isn’t that correct Ms. Richards? And abortion is a constitutional right? — Rep. Lieu, D-CA
- That is correct.
- My question: Why do so many Americans ignore the rights of unborn children simply because they are in their earliest stages of development? The Declaration of Independence says that we all have an unalienable right to life given to us by our Creator. When then does our creator bestow this right on us? When someone else agrees to love us and take care of us and welcome us? When someone else has the money to care for us? After we learn to walk and talk?
- For consideration: The Founding Fathers and the Right to Life by Jameson Taylor
Why are we seeing such a growth in profit? — Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ
- I don’t look at how to profit. … Revenue we use for services.
Would we agree that it excess of revenue over expenses? — Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ
- Correct. It’s from fundraising. There are area of the country where we want to expand. …We fundraise spec
What are you looking to report in 2014? — Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ
- I don’t know. We’ve provided hundreds of pages.
I’m having trouble, particularly with these numbers: 80 percent reduction in prenatal services, 57 percent reduction in cancer screening preventative services, 45 percent reduction in breast exams… what have you been able to facilitate a lump cost for the price of contraceptives? Is there a unit cost?
- I don’t know. …I disagree with you.
- Gosar: It’s been reported that it is about $3. …You are reimbursed at $35.
When we get a break, we ought to pass that on? Don’t you agree? Because that facilitates more services, does it not Ms. Richards? — Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ
- Our entire focus is on serving as many patients as we can.
What you’ve done is narrowed the focus. There are very few primary care docs out there because they can’t afford to stay in practice. So what you’ve done is narrow the scope of the practice for where there are profit centers. You’ve narrowed the focus so that you are profiting of death. Where you are making that profit center is off abortions. And that’s appalling to me. — Rep. Paul Gosar
Are you aware of Planned Parenthood’s overbilling taxpayers? — Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-TX
- Cecile Richards is not aware (of the $4.3 million Medicaid fraud settlement in Texas), but will take a look at the documents and cases he is referring to.
Do you know how many facilities in Texas you have? — Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-TX
- Bear with me one moment. I think we have 38, 39.
We have 732 community health centers. Admittedly, some of those focus on pediatrics or men’s care or other health specialties, but wouldn’t you admit that there are substantially more federally qualified health facilities than there are Planned Parenthood facilities? — Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-TX
- Cecile uses her time to launch into her PR message about lack of access to health care.
Isn’t the money you divert to lobbying and politics better spent actually delivering health care to women? — Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-TX
- Cecile refocuses the narrative on state laws restricting access to health care.
What do you like most about your job? — Rep. Elijah Cummings D-MD
- Cecile enjoys seeing the patients they serve every day and the young people who are going to have more opportunities than we ever did.
- Watch / listen Mia Love question Cecile Richards
- Read Rep. Paul Gosar statement on Planned Parenthood