Idaho’s Medicaid system spent nearly $450,000 at controversial health care provider Planned Parenthood in a five-year span, records reveal.
The records, released to IdahoReporter.com by the Idaho Controller’s office, show $448,538 in payments from Idaho’s Medicaid system to Planned Parenthood between fiscal years 2012 and 2016.
Niki Forbing-Orr, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s public information officer, said last week the money funded run-of-the-mill medical expenses.
“The majority of the costs are Medicaid payments for family planning, contraception and birth control. Medicaid also covers office visits, ultrasounds, blood tests, pregnancy tests, lab tests, immunizations, etc.,” Forbing-Orr wrote in an email to IdahoReporter.com.
Of the nearly $450,000 Idaho spent at Planned Parenthood, only about one-third, or $135,000, came directly from Gem State taxpayers. The rest came from the federal government, which is partially funded by Idaho residents’ tax dollars.
The Center for Medical Progress ran a sting operation on Planned Parenthood officials across the country and released more than 10 videos of health care workers discussing selling fetal tissue from aborted babies.
The group started a gruesome hashtag on Twitter to highlight the videos: “#PPsellsbabyparts.”
Planned Parenthood fired back, alleging the videos were deceptive and heavily edited.
CMP denied the charge. “CMP’s investigative video recordings are high-quality and reproducible evidence that can be provided to law enforcement and official investigators in original recording format,” the group said August 31.
On Capitol Hill, some conservatives want to slice Planned Parenthood out of the federal budget, but others see it as a lost cause due to President Barack Obama’s presence in the White House.
Republican governors in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Utah have ended contracts their states have with the controversial health care provider.
In Idaho, Republican Gov. Butch Otter declined to launch an investigation into Planned Parenthood after 30 state legislators asked him to take that step.
“I have been in contact with Planned Parenthood officials here in Idaho and they assured me that these practices do not occur in Idaho or within the states that make up Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest,” Otter wrote in an Aug. 14 letter to lawmakers.
In response to Otter’s rejection, Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, posted the governor’s letter on social media and jabbed him for his decision. “In case you were wondering where the Idaho executive branch stands on the selling of baby parts by Planned Parenthood issue,” she wrote in an Aug. 25 Facebook post.
Here's a look at the expenses: