By Emily Brown
Recently it has been suggested that Planned Parenthood’s praised Obamacare is actually harming its business to the point of closure.
A few days ago we learned that Planned Parenthood affiliates will close 10 clinics in Iowa and the Rocky Mountain states during the next few months. This means that 20 Planned Parenthood clinics have closed in Iowa since 2010. Planned Parenthood is clearly suffering.
One of the facilities closing is the clinic in Casper, Wyoming—the state’s very last Planned Parenthood facility. It’s no surprise that this facility is shutting down, as it only served 480 customers per year. That’s just one to two customers per day. While this clinic is obviously closing down due to a lack of customers, some of the other closings make us wonder.
Six closings in the Rocky Mountains region is quite a bit. Stop Planned Parenthood International reported that Whitney Phillips, the spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said:
We supported (Obamacare) because we love the idea of more people having health insurance and increasing access to the critical services that they need, but a lot of our patients were self-pay. . . .
They would come in and get a pap smear and pay out of pocket. . . . Under the ACA, a lot of patients were given the opportunity to be on Medicaid. Again, that’s wonderful, but it meant that rather than bill them directly, we had to bill Medicaid. And Medicaid reimburses at a very low rate.
What does this mean?
Planned Parenthood has always praised Obamacare, as shown in blog posts, tweets, and memes. But what Phillips said and what she told the Denver Post is that Obamacare has changed how Planned Parenthood does business because PP no longer receives quick reimbursements from insurance companies.
Because of Obamacare, more people are covered under Medicaid. This means that more people pay with insurance rather than out of pocket. The insurance company (in most states) then reimburses Planned Parenthood the cost of the item, which means Planned Parenthood is not making the profit it once did, as it is helping more “poor” women.
Let’s break it down
Take, for example, the woman who comes in and will self-pay. She has no insurance to buy birth control pills. In order to make a profit, PP always marks up the cost of these pills. Thus, if birth control pills are purchased by Planned Parenthood for $2, the organization might sell them to this woman for $21. Keep in mind that this $21 is a “reduced” price from its generic $28 that it gives insurance companies. So the woman pays $21 in cash and leaves. Planned Parenthood makes $19—a 950 percent profit.
A month later, this woman now has Obamacare. She returns to Planned Parenthood and uses her new insurance to get birth control pills. Now they are completely free for her. She uses her insurance and leaves. Planned Parenthood then sends a reimbursement form to Medicaid and it receives back the cost of the item paid by the patient: $2. Planned Parenthood has made zero dollars.
So with Obamacare insuring more and more people, Planned Parenthood is losing profits.
This decline in revenue is good news. With continual local efforts such as sidewalk counseling, protesting, and praying outside Planned Parenthoods—plus this dip in profits and possibly defunding—we may soon see a day where Planned Parenthood is no more!
Emily Brown, the granddaughter of Judie Brown, graduated magna cum laude from Mount St. Mary’s University with a bachelor’s degree in special and elementary education and a minor in theology in May 2015. She is the former director of ALL’s youth department, ALL Life Defenders. Emily is an elementary school teacher in Spotsylvania County, VA.