Are American Taxpayers Paying For Abortion? What About the Hyde Amendment?

[Comment: While this article is rather long and complicated, it does answer the question about the Hyde Amendment restricting taxpayer funding. N. Valko RN, 4 Oct 2015] · taxpayers subsidize roughly 24% of all abortion costs in the U.S. · this is equivalent to taxpayers paying the full cost of 250,000 abortions a year, with about 70,000 financed by federal taxpayers In a fiery exchange with Chuck Todd on last Sunday’s Meet the Press, Carly Fiorina stated repeatedly that American taxpayers are paying for abortion. This may puzzle casual observers who are under the impression that for decades, the Hyde Amendment has somehow protected taxpayers who oppose abortions from having to pay for them. So what’s the truth? This week’s passage of a continuing resolution to avert a potential government shut-down over the issue of Planned Parenthood funding now has shifted what may be a knock-down-drag-out fight over that issue until December 11. For readers wishing to get better informed in advance of both that debate as well as candidate debates in the weeks ahead, I thought a brief primer was in order. As best I can determine, taxpayers subsidize roughly 24% of all abortion costs in the U.S. with 6.6% borne by federal taxpayers and the remaining 17.4% picked up by state taxpayers. If we apply the 24% figure to the total number of abortions, this is equivalent to taxpayers paying the full cost of 250,000 abortions a year, with about 70,000 financed by federal taxpayers and 180,000 financed by state taxpayers. These figures are very rough but certainly are more accurate than subjective guesses on either side...

Planned Parenthood Under Investigation for Fraud

More than 50 members of Congress have asked the Health and Human Services Secretary to conduct an audit of Planned Parenthood over allegations that the abortion provider has overbilled the federal government. The request for the audit was initially made by a coalition of faith-based groups, including the American Family Association. Planned Parenthood receives federal funding through the Title X Family Planning Program, a 90-percent Medicaid match for family planning, and a federal program to purchase drugs from manufacturers at a reduced price. Four years ago, state auditors in California began reviewing Planned Parenthood affiliates, but the audit was stopped after only one review was completed. That review found that Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside counties overbilled the government more than $5.2 million. Ray Ruddy, president of Gerard Health Foundation, is leading the call for a federal investigation. He says, unlike other federal contractors, Planned Parenthood does not have to bill the government at cost, but is able to bill at what they call “normal and customary rates.” “Let’s say, right now, everybody bills the federal government at their cost, plus eight percent. Most vendors, …whether they’re wholesalers or retailers, actually bill out and mark up their stuff anywhere between 50 and 100 percent,” Ruddy explains. “If you take everybody who’s billing the federal government and they start to mark up their stuff, their materials they provide, by 50-to-100 percent — I have not even begun to make a calculation of that, but I bet that would be in the billions of dollars.” Ruddy also alleges that officials in California redefined the term “at cost” to validate...