Monday, September 28, 2009

California Planned Parenthood Defrauds The State Of $180 Million

How many more reasons do we need to cut all funding to Planned Parenthood? Could defrauding the state of 180 million dollars be just a bump in the road or something more serious?

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit received legal papers from the American Center for Law and Justice today. They concern a case in which a former vice president of a Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliate in California has accused it of defrauding the state.

P. Victor Gonzalez says the abortion business fired him because he raised concerns about illegal practices of overcharging the state.

The former Planned Parenthood official filed a lawsuit in March 2008 against affiliates in California saying they overcharged the state hundreds of millions of dollars on birth control.

In January, a federal district court judge dismissed the case and Gonzalez filed an appeal. Now, the ACLJ, a pro-life legal group, filed a brief with the appeals court representing the federal whistleblower

The papers note that the federal False Claims Act (FCA) forbids government contractors from submitting “false or fraudulent” claims for payment. The FCA also authorizes private individuals to bring suit against the offenders to recover the fraudulently obtained funds.

“Nationally, Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar operation. Now, it looks like they've been soaking the taxpayers even beyond the legal limits,” said Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Chief Counsel. “The False Claims Act provides an important weapon in rectifying illegal runs on taxpayer dollars.”

Gonzalez alleges that Planned Parenthood affiliates in California illegally marked up the supposed cost of various birth control drugs when seeking government reimbursement, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of overbilling – at taxpayer expense.

Gonzalez says his own internal audit estimates that Planned Parenthood overcharged California taxpayers for purchasing birth control by at least $180 million.

He was the vice president of finance and administration for Planned Parenthood of Los Angles and, according to a Los Angeles Times report, the overbilling began in the late 1990s.

While other public health facilities and private facilities charged the state between $8 and $9 for a cycle of birth control pills, Planned Parenthood charged almost $12. The Planned Parenthood charge to the California government was several times more than it paid for the drugs originally.

Gonzalez alleges that other California-based Planned Parenthood affiliates and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California knowingly engaged in a scheme to defraud state and federal taxpayers by deliberately over-billing the Medi-Cal program..."

Imagine what that money could do if given to pro-life pregnancy clinics throughout the state of California?