Union-Leader Smears Planned Parenthood For Receiving Funds To Help Implement Obamacare


A New Hampshire Union Leader editorial attacked Planned Parenthood for receiving "navigator grants" to help Americans enroll in health insurance, claiming the organization's "core business includes abortion-on-demand" and quoted a source questioning whether the group should receive these funds. In fact, more than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood's work is in preventative care, and the organization meets the qualifications for the grant money.

Obama Administration Announces Planned Parenthood Will Receive Health Care Funding

U.S. Officials Announced Planned Parenthood Will Receive Federal Funding For Navigator Grants Under The Affordable Care Act. On August 15, U.S. officials announced that Planned Parenthood will receive federal funds under President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) for navigator grants, which are used to help Americans enroll in health insurance. According to Reuters, 105 different groups will receive funding overall:

Planned Parenthood will get federal funds to help Americans enroll in insurance via President Barack Obama's healthcare program, U.S. officials said on Thursday, drawing fire from critics who oppose contraception and abortion in such coverage.

Across the country, 105 groups were awarded a total of $67 million in so-called navigator grants, ranging from the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida and AIDS Alabama, Inc. to the Greater Phoenix Urban League and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. [Reuters, 8/15/13]

Union Leader Attacks Funding, Promotes Myths About Planned Parenthood And Funding

Union Leader: Planned Parenthood of Northern New England's "Core Business Includes Abortion-On-Demand." An August 19 editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader used the announcement that Planned Parenthood of Northern New England would receive navigator grant money to claim that Planned Parenthood's "core business includes abortion-on-demand," and quoted a source who said that "federal dollars and public funds should not be granted to this organization." [New Hampshire Union Leader, 8/19/13]

Planned Parenthood Is Primarily Engaged In STD, Cancer, And Contraceptive Services

97 Percent Of Planned Parenthoods Services Are Non-Abortion Services. According to the 2011-2012 Planned Parenthood annual report, in 2011, only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services were abortion services. 41 percent was testing and treatment of STI/STDs and 33 percent was cancer screening and prevention and other women's health services:

[Planned Parenthood, accessed 8/2/13]

Planned Parenthood: More Than "90 Percent [Of Health Care] Is Preventative, Primary Care." According to Planned Parenthood's "About Us" page, Planned Parenthood operates 750 health centers nationwide which provide a range of health care, 90 percent of which is "preventative, primary care":

The heart of Planned Parenthood is in the local community. Our 71 unique, locally governed affiliates nationwide operate nearly 750 health centers, which reflect the diverse needs of their communities.

These health centers provide a wide range of safe, reliable health care -- and more than 90 percent is preventive, primary care, which helps prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception, reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screen for cervical and other cancers. Caring physicians, nurse practitioners, and other staff take time to talk with clients, encouraging them to ask questions in an environment that millions have grown to trust. [Planned Parenthood, accessed 8/20/13]

Planned Parenthood Fulfills All The Navigator Program Requirements

Under The Affordable Care Act, Certain Exchanges Require At Least One "Not-For Profit" Certified Navigator Entity. An article on California Healthline explained that the finalized rules for the navigator program require that exchanges "be operated solely by or in partnership with the federal government are required to have at least two certified navigator entities, one of which must be a not-for-profit":

Under the ACA, exchanges that will be operated solely by or in partnership with the federal government are required to have at least two certified navigator entities, one of which must be a not-for-profit. HHS has allocated $54 million in funding grants to train and pay navigators in the 37 states with federally run exchanges.

Navigator workers must provide "fair, impartial and accurate information that assists consumers with submitting the eligibility application, clarifying distinctions among [qualified health plans] and helping qualified individuals make informed decisions during the health plan selection process." They also must provide additional assistance to:

  • Consumers with disabilities, limited proficiency in English; or
  • Consumers who are unfamiliar with health insurance. [California Healthline, 7/15/13]

CMS: Planned Parenthood Of Northern New England Is A "Nonprofit Health Care Provider" That Will "Assist Patients And Other Consumers" With ACA. According to the list of navigator grant recipients provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England fulfills the requirements of the grant program because they are a nonprofit health care provider which will assist patients with "understanding new programs" and "navigating the health insurance system to find the most affordable coverage that meets their needs."  [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 8/15/13]

McClatchy: Navigators Will Undergo 20 To 30 Hours Of Online Training And Must Pass A Certification Test. A McClatchy article discussing the navigator grant program highlighted a statement by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius where she explained that "navigators would undergo 20 to 30 hours of online training and must pass a certification test before they could begin work." In addition, navigators must renew certification every year. [McClatchy, 8/15/13]

Planned Parenthood VP: Navigator Grants "Have Nothing To Do With Abortion And Won't Be Used For Abortion Services." Planned Parenthood Vice President Eric Ferrero stated that 90 percent of health centers provide basic, preventative care, and the funds received under the navigator grant program "won't be used for abortion services" and "have nothing to do with abortion." [Reuters, 8/15/13]

Nearly Half Of The Patients Planned Parenthood Treats Each Year Are Uninsured. According to Reuters "roughly half" of the 3 million patients treated each year by Planned Parenthood are uninsured. [Reuters, 8/15/13]

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
New Hampshire Union Leader
State Media
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