NRL News

Planned Parenthood’s Aggressive Push for ObamaCare

by | Mar 1, 2014

By Susan T. Muskett, J.D., Senior Legislative Counsel


Planned Parenthood is working hard to ensure ObamaCare does not fail.

Planned Parenthood is working hard to ensure
ObamaCare does not fail.

Why is Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, sending out approximately 400 workers at $12 per hour to knock on an average of 18,000 doors a day to promote ObamaCare?

The New York Times reports that Planned Parenthood is “one of the most aggressive groups” going door-to-door to enroll individuals in ObamaCare, targeting eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Using “sophisticated computer lists generated in Washington” by Enroll America, the Planned Parenthood workers are canvassing neighborhoods, with Planned Parenthood having raised “millions of dollars for the effort,” according to the Times.

The effort is modeled after the Obama campaign’s voter turnout operation in the 2008 and 2012 elections, with a former member of the Obama re-election team generating the lists of households to target.

The Obama Administration had hoped to have seven million people signed up for ObamaCare by March 31; they claim 3.3 million had done so by the end of January. Planned Parenthood is ramping up its efforts to assist them. In addition to going door-to-door, Planned Parenthood announced on February 14 that it was launching digital ads as part of its “ramped up” campaign on behalf of ObamaCare. On February 11, Planned Parenthood announced its participation in a national coalition effort to enroll Latinos in ObamaCare through events hosted by the coalition in 15 cities with sizable Latino populations.

Voter registration is also a part of Planned Parenthood’s ObamaCare outreach activities. A Planned Parenthood job announcement posted on sought 16 Affordable Care Act (ACA) outreach organizers for a campaign that will last through December 2014 at locations in San Antonio, Miami, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Phoenix, Tucson and Denver. In the first phase of the campaign (through April 2014), the outreach organizers will focus on ACA outreach. In the second phase, which lasts through December 2014, the organizers will focus on “Latino engagement and coalition building.” In addition to educating the uninsured on the Affordable Care Act, an outreach organizer would “provide them the opportunity to register to vote” as well as inform them about Planned Parenthood’s health services. The organizers’ activities would have an emphasis on the Latino populations.

Likewise, a Planned Parenthood job announcement posted on Linkedin sought several ACA outreach organizers for a campaign that would last through March 2014 at locations in Houston (TX), Dallas (TX), Forth Worth (TX), Philadelphia (PA), Palm Beach (FL), Tampa (FL), Broward County (FL), and Cleveland (OH). These Planned Parenthood ACA outreach organizers would also be expected to provide women “the opportunity to register to vote,” in addition to helping them obtain health coverage and telling them about Planned Parenthood services.

Will Planned Parenthood exploit these Obamacare-related voter registrations to mine data for future Planned Parenthood get-out-the vote efforts?

Why is Planned Parenthood working so hard to ensure that ObamaCare does not fail? What does it stand to lose if the ObamaCare law is repealed?

Inclusion of Planned Parenthood in Exchange Plan Networks. ObamaCare requires Exchange health plans to contract with a certain percentage of “essential community providers” for low-income individuals in the plan’s service area. An “Exchange” is a marketplace for the purchase of health insurance. ObamaCare requires an Exchange to be established in every state.

Among these “essential community providers” are clinics that receive Title X family planning funds, such as Planned Parenthood clinics. It should surprise no one that the Obama administration has designated over 580 local Planned Parenthood centers as “essential community providers.” Many of these also just happen to be abortion clinics.

Back in June 2013, the Examiner’s Washington Secrets column wrote about this new requirement being placed on insurance plan networks: “While insurers currently cover doctors and health facilities in their networks, Obamacare demands that they also cover at least 20 percent of ‘essential community providers’ in their coverage area, including Planned Parenthood, AIDS clinics, pain management centers and even alternative medicine providers. ‘We’ve never covered these sorts of things,’ a Wisconsin insurance provider told Secrets.”

But Planned Parenthood was determined early on not to be left out of the new ObamaCare plans’ provider networks that would provide health care to millions of uninsured people,launching in June 2009 a multimedia campaign to deliver the message: “Planned Parenthood is an essential community health care provider.”

Planned Parenthood Gearing Up for Growth. Planned Parenthood clinics across the country are eagerly anticipating a new influx of business, as many of the previously uninsured enroll in federally-subsidized Exchange plans or the new Medicaid expansion (where it is available).

This new surge of thousands of people becoming insured is going to bring a lot of new clients to Planned Parenthood,” said Brigid Leahy, director of government relations at Planned Parenthood of Illinois, according to the Medill Reports. The Portland Business Journal reported in July 2013 that Portland’s Planned Parenthood Columbia Williamette “expects to provide services to more patients as access to health care grows under the Affordable Care Act. That will likely mean adding more hours and/or clinicians. ‘We’re definitely anticipating growth,’ said Stacy James, who became the organization’s new president and CEO on June 1.”

And Planned Parenthood’s CEO of New York’s Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes told the Ithaca Times last November that “as ‘Obama Care’ expands insurance coverage we expect it to help grow our organization.”

As NRL News Today reported in November 2013: “The more people that Planned Parenthood signs up for ObamaCare, the more patients they expect to have coming to their clinics. And, in California alone, they anticipate such significant numbers that they are already thinking in terms of the ‘redevelopment and building of new clinic facilities across the state.’”

Massive federal subsidies for abortion coverage. Under ObamaCare, massive federal premium subsidies will flow to Exchange plans that cover all abortions (a sharp departure from the longstanding policy of the Hyde Amendment), and every enrollee in the plan will have a portion of the enrollee’s premium placed into a separate account for elective abortions (dubbed the “abortion surcharge”). As a result, the federal government will be helping uninsured individuals purchase plans that cover abortion, and in turn, Planned Parenthood stands to benefit because the abortion will be paid for by insurance, a reliable source of payment. (However, this particular concern does not apply to the states that have enacted laws to prevent Exchange-participating insurance plans from covering abortions. Twenty-four states have done so. An up-to-date listing is posted on the NRLC website here.)

School-Based Health Clinics. ObamaCare directly appropriates $200 million for the construction and expansion of school-based health clinics. (It also authorized additional funding for operational services through 2014, but funding was not appropriated. Efforts are ongoing to extend the authorization).

How much of a foothold Planned Parenthood will get into these school-based health clinics over time remains to be seen. In July 2011, the Los Angeles Unified School District was awarded $489,888 in ObamaCare funding to enhance and expand the school district’s school-based health centers, such as for renovations and updating equipment. In announcing the receipt of the funding, the LA school district said that it had “requested the funds to renovate the clinic at Roosevelt High School,” as well as for other clinics. A year later, in June 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported that Planned Parenthood was providing “a medical assistant, the contraceptives and the pregnancy and STDs testing” at the Roosevelt High School clinic, through a collaboration after the school nurse practitioner reached out to Planned Parenthood.

Referrals for abortions on minors by ObamaCare-financed school-based clinics is also a concern. Lake County, Illinois is the site of a controversy regarding the construction of a $500,000 school-based clinic, with the half a million dollars in funding coming from ObamaCare. Concerns were raised that the future clinic would make abortion referrals for minor girls without their parents’ consent. A June 2013 article in the Daily Herald only reinforces these parents’ concerns, with the Herald stating that “pupils would need a consent form signed by a parent or guardian to enroll at the health center. . . . Illinois law allows for a minor to receive an abortion referral from a medical provider, including school clinics, without parental notification.”

But the list goes on: Four Planned Parenthood affiliates alone – in Virginia, Texas, and two in Florida – received a total of $3.3 million in ObamaCare PREP funds to provide comprehensive sex education. In addition, the state of California awarded a total of $1 million in ObamaCare PREP sex education funds to certain Planned Parenthood centers in California. (Efforts are ongoing to extend this ObamaCare program past Fiscal Year 2014).

Is it any wonder that Planned Parenthood is working so hard to keep ObamaCare from failing?

Categories: ObamaCare PPFA