PP train derailing. Can it go into death spiral?
The Indiana situation is not that clear, from the story, but the Texas one is; in Big Texas, it looks like there has been a sentence in their laws abt what can and cannot be funded, and Planned Parenthood has scooted along with their arrangement not being tested too tightly. But the Tx Atty General has deemed the law cutting funding for PP to be legal – making any challenge tough, since making this call is his job.
In other ways, across this land, the now-concluding state legislative sessions have advanced the pro-life agenda a great deal, and specifically have interfered with the ability of Planned Parenthood to maintain their two funding streamsthat spring from providing abortions – the first being the $500 bounty on each fetus’ head, and the second being the entrenched systematic overbilling that PP can carry out when they are an official provider of other federally funded medical care services.
I have posts in the back catalog of PP getting in trouble for accounting problems. This has happened at least in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and El Paso. What they do is bill the fed govt for birth control pills at the going rate, after having bought at some discount rate. The Feds don’t care because the Feds involved are “progressive” supporters of PP. With the revenue coming in, the cost of the birth contgrol pills is covered, the cost of the personnel time doctor etc. is covered, and whatever bit of ‘overhead’ is covered (electricity bill, and so on), and a lot of gravy remains.
What happens to this gravy? Someone needs to really map this out.
“PP” itself is a huge donor to re-election campaigns. So are a string of other related organizations. I will have to develop an info post on the degree that abortion-business-related campaign donations is a major chunk of all election campaign donations to the key people who keep this overbilling scheme entrenched.
This is why abortion is such a sacred cow for the democratic party. We really went to the mat on health care reform to keep abortion funding in there. And the recent state-generated controversies in Indiana and Texas show the degree that we democrats are unwilling to give up abortion, specifically, as a “health care” service for low-income people, and people generally.
Why can’t we be happy with the over-charge on birth control pills? That is a good deal.
Because it leaves “reproductive health” with nothing special. Any doc anywhere, and any clinic anywhere, including our beloved FQHCs, can do the same thing, very easily: conduct pap smears, prescribe birth control pills, check under the hood, and do gardasil shots. No big deal.
PP has no “niche” other than abortion. So, they have strived to keep it low on the radar, and when it has been dragged up, it has been deemed a side-line issue as far as revenue goes – a false story developed to be smoe screen – if it is only 3% of their money, then we cannot accuse them of being tied to abortion for money purposes. But it is not 3% of their money; it is about 33%.
So, abortion has to be worked in somehow as a necessity, but not obviously a financial necessity. So, a litany of “women’s health” services gets spouted, the civil rights meme gets memed, and the topic is changed from abortion to “legislating morality,” and so on.
To some degree, the people involved in this money-laundering scheme don’t even care abt whether a woman can kill of her not-yet-born baby or not; they just want the entrenched federal funding to flow out of govt so it flows back into the campaign chest.
So, if funding flowing to PP gets cut, some politicians will se that stream of election-campaign funding get decreased.
At some point, abortion will not be providing the dollars that make it worth the political baggage. At first, this will happen state by state, like Indiana, or Texas, or any state that significantly restricts abortion.
Only some legislators can be bankrolled; the others will figure out that the pap smears and birth control pills can be done by other providers, and there are providers who are already in place in the down-trodden low SES areas, and rural areas. The elected officials will eventually figure out that these low-income and rural-serving providers would appreciate the diversion of this funding stream from the sacred cow of PP to their similarly-demographically-aimed low-income clinics.
PP can only exist if it keeps its political power in place. This awesome spring has taken a great whallop at PP’s revenue stream. The interference that will happen – even if only for a few months of legal wrangling – will interfere with a hungry beast that needs to be fed regularly.
PP has other tricks up their sleeve, however. In other posts, I need to discuss two other dimensions of their business model: taking over mom-and-pop shops, and the tie-in with the drug companies.