Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Oklahoma Seeks to End Planned Parenthood Funding
New York Times (Nov. 20, 2015): Oklahoma: Governor Seeks to End Planned Parenthood Funding:
Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday asked Oklahoma’s Health Care Authority to cut its contracts with two Planned Parenthood affiliates, citing high rates of billing errors. The request by Ms. Fallin, a Republican, comes as Republican governors of several states have moved to cut funding for Planned Parenthood after an anti-abortion group released videos that it said showed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for fetal tissues from abortions. Planned Parenthood has said that the videos were heavily edited and has said it does not profit from fetal tissue donation. Nico Gomez, the chief executive of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, said his office would not take any action until it completed an audit. In 2015, Oklahoma paid the two Planned Parenthood affiliates $100,145 for 19,546 claims. A review showed no improper use of Medicaid funds, but showed a billing error rate of 20.3 percent rate at one and 14.2 percent at the other, the governor’s office said. Officials with Iowa-based Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which operates a clinic in Tulsa, called the move "premature and incredibly disappointing." Ms. Fallin said ending the contracts with the two affiliates, which operate in six locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, would not interfere with a woman’s ability to have a choice of health care.