Planned Parenthood President and CEO Melaney Linton released the following response to The Texas Attorney General misrepresentation of about the outcome of the Medicaid fraud lawsuit. The attack on this vital organization to thousands of Texas women’s healthcare continue. The original response can be found here.
Today, the Texas Attorney General unexpectedly announced that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) has reached a settlement in a Medicaid fraud lawsuit in spite of the fact that the settlement process is not complete. The announcement from the Attorney General includes a number of inaccuracies, including that state investigators had determined that PPGC had engaged in fraudulent practices. In fact, both the state and federal governments declined to prosecute this lawsuit, leaving that to the former employee who filed it. The settlement is clear that there is no legal finding of wrongdoing and that PPGC does not admit any wrongdoing. The charges involved conduct that is actually best practice for preventive health care, such as providing condoms to patients who are using oral contraceptives, or who have sought STD testing.
The complaint made baseless claims about our financial operations and services, and attacked the medically agreed upon standard of offering a range of preventive services to all patients. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast made the practical decision to settle this baseless lawsuit rather than continue to allow these claims to distract from our priority of providing more than 50,000 low-income, uninsured Texas women with high quality preventive health care.
I want to be clear that settling this lawsuit is not an admission of guilt. The decision to pursue a settlement is a practical one. Pursuing this case in the current hostile environment would have led to a lengthy and costly process. By settling the case, we are able to devote all of our attention to providing health care to patients who rely on Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood will continue to be a strong advocate for high quality health care.