Wednesday, April 20, 2011

MCCL calls on Dayton administration to investigate Regions Hospital abortion invoices

The following MCCL news release was issued today, April 20, 2011.

ST. PAUL — Abortion reimbursements to Regions Hospital far exceeding the state average have led to calls for an investigation. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state's largest pro-life organization, is bringing the issue to the attention of Gov. Mark Dayton.

Regions Hospital charged the state an average of $1,448 for each of the 385 abortions it performed on low-income women in 2009 (most recent figures). Compared to the $290 average cost of a taxpayer funded abortion at all other abortion centers that year, Regions' reimbursements were about five times those of other abortion centers.

"Why the huge cost discrepancy?" asked MCCL President Leo LaLonde in a letter to Dayton.

MCCL has been concerned with this discrepancy for years. Especially given the need to reduce state spending, the cost of abortions at Regions Hospital has become alarming. The impression has been that taxpayers must pay whatever abortion centers, which are unregulated in Minnesota, submit for reimbursement.

Regions Hospital has been reimbursed more than $4 million — more than any other provider — since Minnesota taxpayers were first required to pay for elective abortions, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In 2009, Regions Hospital performed 10 percent of the taxpayer funded abortions but collected 35 percent of the reimbursement money.

LaLonde said in his letter to Dayton, "MCCL calls upon the Dayton administration to investigate why the state is reimbursing Regions Hospital at a rate of nearly five times the amount of other providers for abortion services. If the administration is unwilling to look into this significant waste of taxpayer dollars, we urge the Legislature to hold hearings on this issue."