Planned Parenthood is neither eligible nor qualified to receive our tax dollars

Originally published on our Facebook page, December 12, 2018, by guest author Drew Hymer — Any individual or organization who intentionally kills innocent unborn children and sells their body parts for profit isn’t even remotely eligible or qualified to participate in any government program, regardless of the rulings of activist judges.

In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress produced several undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood executives and employees freely discussing how Planned Parenthood harvests and sells the body parts of aborted children. In the wake of the disturbing videos, several states disqualified local Planned Parenthood affiliates from receiving Medicaid funds. Planned Parenthood, through its clients, sued in federal court to reinstate Medicare funding.

On December 10, 2018, the Supreme Court, ignoring a split in the circuit courts, refused to hear Gee v. Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast and Anderson v Planned Parenthood of Kansas, in which federal appellate judges ruled that Louisiana and Kansas could not deny state Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood. Republican-appointed justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch voted to hear the cases, while justices Roberts and Kavanaugh voted against a hearing, thus leaving Planned Parenthood’s favorable lower court rulings in place. Regarding the motives behind the denial, Justice Thomas wrote, “I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood.’”

The primary question is a matter of standing—whether Medicaid beneficiaries, not the Medicaid provider itself, may sue in federal court when their state has disqualified the provider from Medicaid funding. Amicus briefs make a convincing case that the Medicaid Act does not make service from a particular Medicaid provider an individual entitlement, thus it’s not eligible for individual redress in a court. In addition, the mandated process for appealing a state’s decision on provider qualification conflicts with an individual entitlement, which attempts to bypass that state process.

A secondary question revolves around the definition of the word “qualified,” which is not defined in the Medicaid Act. The Act reads, “A State plan… must… provide… medical assistance… from any institution… qualified to perform the service.” Planned Parenthood claims that “qualified” simply means “competent”. While this is a reasonable out-of-context reading of the text, it ignores that the Medicaid Act provides a list of reasons why a provider may be disqualified that have nothing to do with competence. The Act also makes a direct appeal to states’ “other authority” (that is, outside of the Act) to determine if a provider is eligible for Medicaid participation.

Ultimately, the salient point here is this: Any individual or organization who intentionally kills innocent unborn children and sells their body parts for profit isn’t even remotely eligible or qualified to participate in any government program, regardless of the rulings of activist judges.

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