This week marked the fifth anniversary of Obamacare, and while some of us celebrated by spending hours on the phone with an insurance company rectifying a double charge because they can’t keep track of their billing, and Ted Cruz celebrated by availing himself of the system in order to get an inside look at the exchange that’s making everyone’s lives a terrible place, the head of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, celebrated by reminding America that they now give a ton of money to her organization involuntarily.
This is true now more than ever, as thanks to an “equality” provision in the Affordable Care Act, men and women now pay the same rates for insurance, despite the fact that women, on the whole, cost more to insure, most notably because many of them have working uteruses that produce living children. In return, yes, women can now celebrate the opportunity to pay to care for prostates they don’t have and Viagra prescriptions they probably won’t need, but let’s not get too far from the point in question: ACA was very, very good to Planned Parenthood.
If you were wondering whether Richards is getting all teary-eyed because her supposedly non-profit organization is struggling to make ends meet because of the incredibly generous commitment they have to keeping America’s women healthy and happy, well, according to a GAO report released yesterday, in response to questions from Rep. Vicki Hartzler about how much, exactly, Planned Parenthood receives from the American taxpayers, you needen’t worry. Over the last three years, abortion advocacy groups including Planned Parenthood have sucked down an impressive $1.5 billion in funding from various state and Federal sources. A quick scan of the report reveals that PPOA and its affiliates received around $350 million from Federal funds and about $1.2 billion from Medicaid, which is covered by Federal and state sources. The Federal money comes from a mix of sources that include the Title X Family Planning program and the somewhat oddly named Title XX Maternal and Child Health Services program. Thank heavens Cecile Richards is in charge of health care and not the STEM program, because she’d have a hard time convincing anyone that her arithmetic skills are up to par.
But Planned Parenthood and its supporters, who still believe that the clinic chain operates as nothing less than a Magical Ladyparts Castle that saves the lives of millions of women annualy, would say that all that money goes to a good place. After all, even I can agree that providing affordable, accessible healthcare that caters specifically to female needs is a good cause. No one wants to get their annual Pap smear at the same free clinic that hands out methadone to homeless junkies.
But the funny thing is, that exact argument demonstrates that the Affordable Care Act’s equality provision is bogus: can someone who presides over a chain of womens’ health clinics designed to handle the needs women have that go above and beyond the normal standard of care for most walk-in facilities really claim that women don’t have a more complex system that requires a more tailored approach? Certainly, Planned Parenthood isn’t doing a lot of pre-natal care, but even they can recognize that they exist precisely because women’s medical needs are different and greater than mens’. Which clearly shows why the insurance “gap” that supposedly “punishes” women is necessary from an insurance standpoint – for an industry that exists specifically to offset the relative costs of medical care.
And if Planned Parenthood does nothing different than any other medical care provider, why in heavens name do they need that much extra cash?
Celebrating equality, at least in this case, means punishing consumers and taxpayers and co-opting the free market to fit a set of outdated ideals, in the place of helping to find real solutions to the high cost of health care that could actually help women.
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