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Monday, April 18, 2011
Sheppard Pushes Myth That Federal Money To Planned Parenthood Is 'Fungible'
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard used an April 14 NewsBusters post to fire off a snappy retort at someone who pointed out that federal money paid to PLanned Parenthood doesn't pay for abortions:

It really is funny how liberals don't understand the concept of money being fungible.

Taxpayers opposed to federally funded abortions have absolutely no certainty that money supposedly going to Planned Parenthood for procedures other than abortions don't end up directly or indirectly doing exactly what it's not legally allowed to.

Sheppard offered no evidence to support his claim that federal money paid to Planned Parenthood is "fungible" -- perhaps because there isn't any. As former Planned Parenthood official Clare Coleman wrote:

Opponents of Planned Parenthood insist that giving the organization federal dollars allows it to spend other money in its budget to provide abortions. That is not possible — there is no other money.

Title X is a federal grant program that exists solely to help low-income and uninsured people access contraceptives and sexual health care; 5.2 million people use the program annually. But Congress has never appropriated enough money to take care of the estimated 17 million Americans who need publicly funded family-planning care. There always are more patients than subsidies.

Further, a Title X grant is designed to help with costs, not to fully cover them. So family-planning programs are required to find other money to support the Title X project — not the other way around. For patients who qualify for Medicaid, reimbursement rates for reproductive health services are lower than the cost of the care. A typical family-planning visit might cost upward of $200, including the exam, lab tests and contraceptive method, but the Medicaid reimbursement rate may be as low as $20.

Will Sheppard report these facts to his readers? It can be assumed with a high degree of metaphysical certitude that he won't (to quote yet another of his favorite cliches).

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT

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