Medicaid funding and Planned Parenthood

Gordian knot

Planned Parenthood has been in the news an awful lot right now – as they should be. Utah’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Utah has also been in the news. While both Planned Parenthood and Medicaid expansion deserve posts of their own, there is one thing that has been overlooked in the current news stories: the connection between the two.

Forty-one percent of PP’s funding comes from taxpayer dollars, and according to Planned Parenthood’s own annual report, they had an “extra” $127 million in 2014.  Planned Parenthood receives 90% of its funding from Medicaid. Hundreds of millions of dollars, just from 2010 – 2012. According to an article in National Review, a brand-new GAO report “found that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates alone received $344.5 million in federal funding, and a whopping $1.5 billion in taxpayer money overall when state funds received through Medicaid are included.”

The second largest funding source for Planned Parenthood was the Title X family-planning program, which awarded them over $200 million.

That means that most of their funding comes through “mandatory” spending. To really tackle defunding Planned Parenthood, we need a Congress willing to tackle mandatory entitlement spending. To date, only a handful of the folks back there have the guts to even talk about entitlement reform. Maybe this will light a fire under their behinds….

In the meantime here in Utah, there are ongoing discussions about expanding Medicaid to 138% of the poverty line, while AT THE SAME TIME, legislators and the Governor want to disentangle themselves from pass-through funding of Planned Parenthood.

Me thinks they may have found themselves in a Gordian knot with the two seemingly unrelated issues intractably intertwined. I wonder if lawmakers will look at this Medicaid connection to Planned Parenthood and think twice or thrice about expanding it.


  1. Bonnie Fernandez says:

    The entwined funding you discuss will likely remain entangled because Congress isn’t going to tackle so-called “entitlements”. This Gordian knot is repeated over and over throughout the federal system. The tie between the Transportation Dept. and the EPA is a prime example. That is not an “entitlement” but costs us big time.