Alliance Defending Freedom filed an appeal Wednesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on behalf of Jonathan Bloedow, a Washington taxpayer who alleges that Planned Parenthood submitted “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursement” to the state’s Department of Social and Health Services.
“American taxpayer dollars should be used responsibly and for the common good, not funneled to groups like Planned Parenthood that abuse the public trust,” said Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton, a former U.S. Attorney. “Compliance with the law should not be sacrificed for the sake of Planned Parenthood’s bottom line. They have cheated the American taxpayer for too long. It’s time the abortion giant is held accountable.”
The federal False Claims Act allows “whistleblowers” with inside information to expose fraudulent billing by government contractors. In July 2011, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed the lawsuit Bloedow v. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest under the act. A federal district judge dismissed the case last month on technical grounds–wrongly concluding that Bloedow’s claims were barred by another lawsuit against an entirely different Planned Parenthood affiliate based in California.
Bloedow’s lawsuit alleges that Planned Parenthood submitted false claims to Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services and its Health and Recovery Services Administration. HRSA runs the state’s Title XIX Medicaid program.
According to the suit, Bloedow discovered through his own research that Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest filed at least 25,000 false claims with HRSA for reimbursements in excess of the amount allowed for oral contraceptive pills and at least another 25,000 for reimbursements in excess of the amount allowed for “emergency contraceptive” (“Plan B”) pills under the federal government’s 340B drug reimbursement program. Total damages could be as much as $377,134,130.
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Alliance Defending Freedom has filed two other unsealed False Claims Act lawsuits to date, Johnson v. Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas and Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
In 2013, Alliance Defending Freedom released its updated report to Congress that identified nearly $108 million in waste, abuse, and potential fraud committed by Planned Parenthood affiliates and other providers.