The Republican threat to shut down the government unless the budget took away all funding for Planned Parenthood was even weirder and stupider than you can imagine. And even more amazingly, this news was pointed out by Republican Congressman Tom Cole, and even weirder, it was done on Fox News.
So what’s the news? There is no funding for Planned Parenthood in the budget bill that was being debated. None. That’s right, conservatives were threatening to shut down the government if they didn’t get something, and they already had that something.
How can that be? After all, Planned Parenthood receives around $450 million each year in federal funds. And if you also include state funding, that equals 41% of their yearly revenue.
But as Cole pointed out, 90% of that money comes from payments from Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) for medical services performed (largely for poor people). And as most people know, Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP are entitlements, whose funding is mandatory and does not go through the normal budgeting process.
The remaining 10% of the government funding for Planned Parenthood is from annual grants, given out under Title X of the Public Health Service Act. Those are discretionary spending, but they aren’t in the current budget bill either. Why not? Because those grants are given out in the spring. The current funding bill is only to keep the government operating until December 11. So this year’s grants were already paid, and next year’s grants won’t happen until next year.
Cole said on Fox News:
Well, first of all, look, on Planned Parenthood – there’s no money in the short-term (spending bill) for Planned Parenthood. Ninety percent of their money comes from Medicaid, not from anything we’re going to do. And the remainder is awarded on what are called grants. They’re all done in about April. There’s none left to do this year, literally none. So, the idea that we’re fighting over money for Planned Parenthood is — it’s a canard. It’s just not true.
And if you don’t believe Tom Cole (or me), PolitiFact rated Cole’s statement True.