Last week, Planned Parenthood made the news in Arkansas when they got in line to receive public funds under the new Medicaid private option plan recently approved by the legislature.
Insurance commissioner Jay Bradford has pushed for Planned Parenthood to be one of 28 organizations contracting with the State to hire additional employees to serve as “guides” that help people sign up for Medicaid. Bradford, a long-time supporter of Planned Parenthood, met with representatives of the group on Friday after members of the legislature blocked Planned Parenthood’s approval.
According to news reports, Bradford considers Planned Parenthood’s application to still be active, and says funding for them is a possibility. However, members of the legislature I have spoken with say lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle see no need to include Planned Parenthood. The fact that the need for “guides” is already being met and the fact that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider of abortions are factors.
Who we elect does make a difference. Had this issue come up five years ago, Planned Parenthood not only would have been approved, they would have been given a preferred spot at the public trough. As it stands now, I do not expect to see Planned Parenthood approved for any funding under the Medicaid private option plan. I appreciate the fact that Sen. David Sanders, Rep. John Burris, and others on both sides of the aisle aren’t going to allow business as usual in this case.
Considering the fact that Planned Parenthood seems to be able to smell a tax dollar a mile away, don’t be surprised if you see them lining up at some other government trough. That’s what they do.