Legend has it that one of the top commercial theatre producers on Broadway once joked: “There’s no profit like non-profit.” Taking a page out of what could easily be a Tony Award-winning script, the Los Angeles Times has reported that the former Vice President for Finance and Administration for [Un]Planned Parenthood’s Los Angeles affiliate has filed a whistleblower lawsuit, alleging that various [Un]Planned Parenthood affiliates overcharged California and the federal government by at least $180 million from the late 1990′s through 2004.
What was the alleged scam? The Family Research Council reports that California [Un]Planned Parenthood affiliates would purchase oral contraceptives at a special discount price offered only to non-profit organizations, and then bill California’s Medi-Cal program for “up to twelve times as much as they paid.”
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times (3/8/08): “A 2004 state audit of Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties – one of nine affiliates statewide…identified more than $5.2 million in overbillings just during the 2003 fiscal year.”
To make matters more unbelievable, in 2004, [Un]Planned Parenthood complained that a lower reimbursement rate could imperil its survival (God forbid!) and lobbied Sacramento, the California state capital, to get a law passed allowing it to continue to bill at the same usurious rates!
Just for a chuckle, I decided to take a look at tax returns (Form 990′s) for the Los Angeles chapter for the past three years to see what impact this new law has had. According to the 2005 and 2006 Form 990s, the Los Angeles chapter has had $53 million in revenue and $12.5 million in surplus (“non-profit speak” for profit!) That’s a 24% profit – I mean “surplus” – margin! Holy moly!
Where is the media outrage over this story? Leave aside the policy debate which has been effectively stifled by the anti-life forces and has allowed [Un]Planned Parenthood’s personal agenda to become de facto public policy. How dare our lawmakers ratify and institutionalize the price-gouging and the pickpocketing of California taxpayers! According to the Times the lawsuit was filed “under seal” in 2005, after the state legislators apparently had ratified and sanctified the alleged misbehavior of the past.
At the very least, [Un]Planned Parenthood’s non-profit status should be seriously reviewed, based on their clear record of turning dimes into dollars.