Planned Parenthood affiliates to receive over $655k in Obamacare ‘navigator’ grants

Caroline May | Reporter

Three Planned Parenthood affiliates will be receiving a total of more than $655, 000 grants from the federal government to serve as Obamacare “navigators” to help people enroll in the health-care exchanges.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $67 million in grants to 105 “Navigator grant applicants” Thursday.

Iowa’s Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Montana’s Intermountain Planned Parenthood, Inc. DBA Planned Parenthood and New Hampshire’s Planned Parenthood of Northern New England are included in that list.

“Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the Marketplace,” Sebelius said in her announcement. “A network of volunteers on the ground in every state — health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates, and local elected officials — can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled.”

The Planned Parenthood in Iowa is slated to receive $214,427 and “to have Navigators cover 61 counties and will strategically base Navigators in regions across Iowa,” according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Montana’s Planned Parenthood is expected to receive $295,604 and will use the “funds to establish the Montana Marketplace Connection to assist consumers in navigating the Montana Marketplace.”

Finally, New Hampshire’s Planned Parenthood is expected to get $145,161 and “will assist patients and other consumers with understanding new programs, taking advantage of consumer protections, and navigating the health insurance system to find the most affordable coverage that meets their needs.”

The news comes the same month the Government Accountability Office confirmed it has opened an inquiry into Planned Parenthood and related family planning organization’s federal funding.

Republicans who have long balked over the fact that the federal government partially supports the abortion provider are unlikely to view the navigator grants as welcome.

“What makes this announcement even worse is that, in addition to the already announced grant to Planned Parenthood in D.C, three state-based Planned Parenthood affiliates will receive a total of about $655,000 from the federal government, despite assurances from the President when the law was passed that Obamacare would not give federal funding to abortion providers,” Tennessee Republican Rep. Diane Black said.

This week, the health-care exchange in the District of Columbia announced a $375,000 Obamacare grant to Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington.

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