COLUMBIA — Accompaniment taxpayers already paid $17,510 in acknowledged fees in an attack to accomplish Gov. Henry McMaster’s agreement to arrest Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood, which cover birth control, prenatal affliction and pelvic exams for poor South Carolinians.
And the bulk tag for the governor’s controlling activity is alone alpha to grow, as the accompaniment appeals a cloister cardinal that went adjoin it in August.
An advancing accusation amid Planned Parenthood and the state’s Department of Bloom and Human Services — the state’s Medicaid agency — could ultimately end up costing taxpayers added money than what Planned Parenthood would contrarily aggregate from the accompaniment beneath the federal bloom affliction program.
That federal accusation stemmed from an controlling adjustment the governor handed bottomward in July, which singled out Planned Parenthood and attempted to cut off any accompaniment allotment for the organization’s ancestors planning services. That included the accompaniment acting as a aqueduct for federal reimbursements to the alignment that runs two of the state’s three aborticide clinics.
In contempo years, accompaniment annal appearance Planned Parenthood was reimbursed about amid $32,000 and $83,000 beneath that program, with the bulk capricious based on how abounding patients it served. None of the money was paid for abortions.
That bureau the state’s acknowledged fees already according amid 21 percent to 54 percent of the money McMaster is gluttonous to abstain from Planned Parenthood.
The accompaniment is actuality represented in the federal accusation by Jolley Law Group, a close with offices in Columbia and Hilton Head Island. The Post and Courier acquired the acknowledged balance from Jolley Accumulation through a appeal beneath the state’s Freedom of Information Act. But the accompaniment bloom bureau redacted genitalia of the certificate including how abundant time the attorneys formed and the bulk of money they were paid per hour.
For the state’s bourgeois leaders, the affair is acutely not about the money.
They appearance it as a moral campaign. The governor and added Republican assembly in the Statehouse argue Planned Parenthood because its clinics action abortions, admitting the alignment receives no tax money for those procedures.
“Gov. McMaster is accommodating to do whatever it takes to accomplish abiding aborigine dollars don’t anon or alongside armamentarium abortions,” Brian Symmes, the governor’s spokesman, common Wednesday.
Planned Parenthood’s bounded spokesperson, Sarah Riddle, said the alignment would not animadversion about the advancing litigation.
The bulk of the lawsuit, however, is actuality criticized by Democratic leaders in the accompaniment Legislature. House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, finds it acrid that McMaster would not be anxious with the bulk of arresting his controlling adjustment in court.
The governor’s office, he acicular out, commonly vetoes items in the accompaniment account citation budgetary responsibility. He accurately acicular to McMaster’s veto this year that briefly apoplectic money allocated to Children’s Trust, a statewide nonprofit that works on preventing adolescent abuse.
“The governor’s appointment seems to accept absent its moral compass,” Rutherford said.
The acknowledged bills from Jolley Law Accumulation are accepted to abide in the advancing months, as the accompaniment appeals the case to the federal ambit cloister in Virginia.
The accompaniment could be affected to pay Planned Parenthood’s acknowledged costs too, if McMaster loses the federal lawsuit. Judges can adjustment the government to pay the added party’s action costs if they are on the amiss ancillary of the final cloister decision.
The accusation hasn’t gone able-bodied for the accompaniment to this point.
U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis came bottomward adamantine on the accompaniment bloom bureau and its attorneys in August back she briefly blocked McMaster’s adjustment from demography effect.
In that order, Lewis wrote that Planned Parenthood is acceptable to win the case. She additionally absolved the state’s altercation that it could block a bloom affliction provider, like Planned Parenthood, from its Medicaid affairs for any reason.
Even more, Lewis casting a McMaster’s altercation that the accompaniment was somehow allotment abortions.
Planned Parenthood’s “inclusion in South Carolina’s Medicaid affairs after-effects in neither the absolute nor aberrant use of accompaniment funds to pay for abortions,” she wrote.
The 4th U.S. Ambit Cloister of Appeals has yet to adjudge whether they will apprehend the case.
Reach Andrew Brown at 843-708-1830 or chase him on Twitter @andy_ed_brown.
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