Texas is looking to regain millions of dollars in Medicaid payments from the abortion provider giant Planned Parenthood in a hearing that is set for Tuesday.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is currently suspended due to accusations of corruption while in office, filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood in 2022 to obtain at least $10 million in Medicaid reimbursements for the previous four years after Texas kicked the organization off of its state program, according to The Associated Press. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who ruled against the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone earlier this year, is set to preside over the hearing. (RELATED: Red State Judge Upholds Law Restricting Abortion, Sex Change Procedures)
“This baseless case is an active effort to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told the AP.
Planned Parenthood, which has over thirty abortion clinics in the state, was officially ineligible to receive payouts from the state’s Medicaid program in 2017 after the Texas Health and Human Services Inspector General cut the abortion provider off in 2016, according to the complaint from Paxton’s office. Despite this, Planned Parenthood allegedly continued to receive millions of dollars from the state during the next four years until 2021, causing Paxton to sue using the False Claims Act, which allows plaintiffs to add fines for every improper charge.
“It is unthinkable that Planned Parenthood would continue to take advantage of funding knowing they were not entitled to keep it.” Attorney General Paxton said in the press release. “I will not allow them to benefit from this abhorrent conduct after they were caught violating medical standards and lying to law enforcement.”
Planned Parenthood argued that the total owed could be well over $1 billion due to fines for the payments, and that Texas continued to make the payments during this time despite its own decision, according to the AP. Kacsmaryk will hear arguments from both sides this week, but it is unclear when he will issue his ruling.
Planned Parenthood and the Texas attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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