Three days after Texas’ Health & Human Services Commission announced that it would end Medicaid contracts to Planned Parenthood, the Texas Office of Inspector General, a division of the Commission, raided PP clinics across the state.
The agents came seeking documents, including patient records, clinical notes and billing records, the Associated Press reports. In addition to the documents, PP was served subpoenas on four of its clinics, giving them 24 hours to turn over thousands of pages of documents dating back to 2010. The Austin Statesman reports that the agency is likely looking for evidence of misspent Medicaid money.
Ever since the Center for Medical Progress released heavily-edited videos purporting to show PP staff engaged in the illegal sale of fetal tissue, Texas governor Greg Abbott has been on a mission to close clinics. After the state announced that they would defund the organization (a decision that Anna pointed out wasn’t really theirs to make), Abbott released the following statement:
“The gruesome harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood will not be allowed in Texas and the barbaric practice must be brought to an end. As such, 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.”
Since other states and a House Oversight Committee haven’t found PP in violation of a single law, misspent Medicaid money is a novel approach to forcing the organization to close their doors. It’s really the only card Abbott has since Texas doesn’t actually fund PP, rather it distributes federal Medicaid money to the clinics for services performed. Worth noting, yet again, that Medicaid doesn’t cover abortion.
In a press conference Ken Lambrecht, the chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, called the raids a “politically motivated...fishing expedition.”
Image via AP.