Wisconsin taxpayers are being forced to pay $1.6 million to attorneys representing Planned Parenthood, despite new evidence that the abortion chain over-billed the state Medicaid program by tens of thousands of dollars.
The huge legal fees are the result of a pro-abortion lawsuit that succeeded in overturning a 2014 state law requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges for patient emergencies. On Thursday, the state Department of Justice agreed to pay the abortion group’s lawyers and other costs associated with the case, according to The Washington Times.
Planned Parenthood’s attorneys charged between $450 and $600 per hour for the case, according to Wisconsin Right To Life. The abortion giant originally asked the state for $1.8 million.
“It’s continually astounding to see how many ways Planned Parenthood tries to get their hands on taxpayer funds,” said Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin RTL. “It seems at every turn, they are looking for ways to use the taxpayer’s dime to foot their bills. This only frees up more of their budget to profit off of the dismemberment of unborn children.”
Weininger previously said the amount that Planned Parenthood is demanding is “exorbitant.” She pointed out that the abortion group received more than $500 million in federal tax dollars in 2013-2014 alone.
The settlement comes just a few weeks after state auditors uncovered evidence of Planned Parenthood over-billing the state Medicaid program by tens of thousands of dollars. A limited scope audit from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Office of the Inspector General found more than $63,000 in overbilling in 2014 by Planned Parenthood and other family planning facilities in the state.
State Reps. Janel Brantjen and Andre Jacque are calling for a comprehensive audit to determine the full extent of the matter.
“Most health care professionals know that if they were to overcharge the taxpayers (or anyone else, for that matter) with such regularity, they would be facing fraud charges and looking at $10,000 fines per incidence along with jail time,” Brantjen and Jacque said in a statement. “Of course, Planned Parenthood isn’t a real healthcare facility, and so they act like the rules shouldn’t apply to them …”
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Planned Parenthood’s five Wisconsin facilities alone over-billed Medicaid by $52,193 in 2014, according to the audit. However, the state auditors reviewed only a sample of the abortion chain’s documents.
“As the total amount billed to taxpayers by these entities in the past few years alone easily stretches into the tens of millions of dollars, it would not be a surprise to uncover millions of dollars in overpayments to Planned Parenthood alone …” Brantjen and Jacque said.
The Wisconsin admitting privileges law was established to ensure the health and safety of women seeking abortions, especially when they experience complications during the abortion.
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union together fought against the Wisconsin legislation before it became law, claiming that it made abortion less accessible to women. Despite their efforts, the bill passed and Gov. Scott Walker signed it into law.
The abortion giant and the ACLU then filed a lawsuit against the law; and soon after it was enacted, a judge barred enforcement of it.
The state appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the high court refused to hear the case in June, leaving in place the lower court’s decision.