Planned Parenthood gets $375,000 from DC ObamaCare exchange

posted at 2:01 pm on August 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

In the final days of the ObamaCare debate in March 2010, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) demanded a floor vote on an amendment that would have barred any funds allocated in the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges from being given to abortion clinics.  Stupak had enough votes from the small minority of pro-life Democrats to derail the whole bill over the issue, forcing Nancy Pelosi to try to carve out a deal that would take the Stupak amendment off the floor. Pelosi succeeded when Barack Obama promised an executive order barring funds for abortionists, which gave Democrats the votes necessary to send the ACA to the White House for Obama’s signature.  Stupak retired rather than face angry constituents in November 2010.

How is that EO working out for taxpayers?  Not so well in Obama’s back yard, the Washington Examiner discovered:

Washington, D.C.’s health insurance exchange has awarded a $375,000 grant to abortion provider Planned Parenthood to help enroll participants in Obamacare, the exchange announced on Tuesday.

As part of its effort to boost enrollment in the exchange created by President Obama’s health care law, the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange doled out $6.4 million to 35 DC-based groups. Those groups include local churches as well as health care and community organizations.

One of the largest awards went to Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington D.C. A full list of groups is available here.

“We are excited to create these partnerships with trusted organizations that have deep roots in the communities that make up the District of Columbia,” Diane C. Lewis, chair of the exchange’s executive board, said in a statement.

“Trusted organizations”?  Last week, the Government Accountability Office opened an investigation into how Planned Parenthood uses the federal funds it already receives:

Spurred by a group of anti-abortion lawmakers, the Government Accountability Office is investigating how Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute, and other prominent family planning-related organizations spend public funds, the GAO confirmed Friday.

More than 50 members of Congress had written in February to Comptroller General and GAO head Gene Dodaro asking the office to follow up on a 2010 GAO report that detailed federal monies provided to the groups. …

The request from lawmakers asked the GAO to look into a list of family planning organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Guttmacher, The Population Council and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, and report the amount of federal funding awarded to them and how that funding was distributed. It also seeks a report on “exactly how many women’s health services including family planning services are provided by community health centers and federally qualified health centers, a comprehensive list of these services, and the number of individuals served in each category.”

Though federal funds can’t be used for abortions, they can be used by groups that provide abortions as long as the money pays for other services.

Several supporters of the request hailed the GAO’s decision to investigate.

“Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions clearly benefit from Uncle Sam, but there’s no accounting to prove how they actually use that money,” Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said in a statement. “This GAO report would shine a light on how our tax dollars are being spent.”

The Christian Post noted that abortion isn’t the only issue with the use of federal funds:

The Government Accountability Office has announced that it will investigate Planned Parenthood’s use of taxpayers’ dollars amid recent cases against abortion providers that have fraudulently over-billed Medicaid, and other family planning programs.

Obama did sign the EO on March 24, 2010, after signing the ACA into law.  However, it did nothing to stop the shell game that allows federal subsidies to the nation’s largest abortion-mill chain, as Democrats attempted to do in playing bait-and-switch with Stupak by pushing the Ellsworth amendment in November 2009.  It continues the charade that federal funds received by PP have nothing to do with the hundreds of thousands of abortions it conducts each year as its core business.  This payout by the DC ObamaCare exchange shows just how badly Stupak and other pro-life Democrats got snookered in March 2010.

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