Wonderful thing, a subpoena.
Texas health officials showed up at five Planned Parenthood facilities Thursday morning with subpoenas for patient and employee records, according to the clinics.
Officials with the inspector general’s office at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission went to two facilities in Houston as well as clinics in Dallas, San Antonio and Brownsville. The Brownsville center does not perform abortions.
…but the Brownsville center may have indulged in Medicaid fraud. Certainly the state of Texas thinks that the rest of Planned Parenthood may have indulged in Medicaid fraud. And why would they think that? Well, I don’t know: maybe it’s because back in 2013 Planned Parenthood got caught doing precisely that:
The Planned Parenthood abortion business must repay $1.4 million dollars in Texas after it was found to have participated in a massive Medicaid fraud scheme.
Last year, a former employee of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has filed a whistleblower’s complaint with the Attorney General of Texas and the U.S. Department of Justice. The PPGC employee alleges that the abortion business engaged in an elaborate Medicaid fraud scheme.
Which is fascinating, because when the Washington Post wrote up yesterday’s raids, WaPo writers Danielle Paquette and Sandhya Somashekhar somehow managed to quote a Planned Parenthood spokesman’s casual assurances that ‘Planned Parenthood complies with every state law and regulation’ without once mentioning that that was, in terms of Planned Parenthood’s own stipulated legal history, a bald-faced lie. Planned Parenthood offices in Texas got caught abusing Medicaid in the past. They managed to get a settlement in 2013; but since then they got caught again, this time doing baby harvesting. It is not even remotely surprising that Governor Greg Abbott might be interested in finishing the job in 2015 that Attorney General Greg Abbott started in 2013. It would be, in fact, surprising if he wasn’t interested.
Watch future developments on this one. Planned Parenthood is almost certainly going to try to fight having to give up any and every record that it could conceivably file under ‘patient confidentiality;’ Texas has already indicated that it has a 2003 ruling that “federal privacy laws do not apply for cases of health oversight activities authorized by the law.” Spoiler warning: even a small-government state like Texas has a bigger hammer in conflicts like this, and it’s going to be a while before Planned Parenthood’s Democratic patrons can do anything meaningful to protect their client. And if/when* Texas does find evidence of Medicaid fraud… well. Then it’s a question of “How far up the chain does this go?”
Better make sure that your personal CYA paper trails are established, ye Planned Parenthood executives…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: The more laws there are, the more likely it is that you broke one. And you know that rule of thumb about how you want to avoid having laws that you wouldn’t want being enforced by your bitterest enemies? …Well. Enjoy the regulatory State, Planned Parenthood!
*It is conceivable that Planned Parenthood committed no further Medicaid fraud since 2013. It is also conceivable that I am the true High King of Ireland. Not that I’d take the job; or bet that Planned Parenthood is innocent of further fraud, for that matter.