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Planned Parenthood Funding Examined by House Committee

Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) opened the hearing by asking, “The question before us is: Does Planned Parenthood really need federal subsidies? Does it need federal dollars? For the year ending on June 2014, PPFA reported $127 million in revenue over expenses. Yet, between 2005 and 2013, there was a 53 percent reduction in cancer screenings [and a] 42 percent reduction in breast exams and breast care. Government dollars from taxpayers going to PPFA [total] roughly $528 million, $450 million of that comes in federal funds; [of that amount], $390 million comes in the form of Medicaid.” Rep. Chaffetz continued, “PPFA is an organization with massive salaries. Ms. [Cecile] Richards [president, PPFA] makes nearly $600,000 a year. The affiliate [president] who runs the facilities in Minnesota and South and North Dakota makes roughly $450,000 a year. This also is an organization that has exuberant travel expenses. In 2013, they spent more than $5 million in travel: first class tickets [and] private chartered aircraft. That is a lot, and that is money that isn’t going to women’s health care.”

Cecile Richards responded that “Planned Parenthood operates just like all other health care providers or hospitals that provide medical care to Medicaid patients. Medicaid reimburses us for the preventive health services we provide. The Department of Health and Human Services conducts routine audits of the Medicaid program to be sure these funds are used appropriately. And the same is true for grants such as Title X, the federal family planning program, which was first signed into law by President Nixon. Planned Parenthood’s nearly 700 health centers across the country are key access points for underserved communities, with a majority (54 percent) of Planned Parenthood health centers located in health professional shortage areas, rural areas, or medically underserved areas. Seventy-eight percent of Planned Parenthood patients have incomes at, or below, 150 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), and approximately 60 percent of Planned Parenthood patients access care through the Medicaid program or the Title X family planning program.”

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