Does Rick Perry's Sister Stand to Profit from #SB1?

Speculation has emerged surrounding the role of Rick Perry's sister, Milla Perry Jones, in the push to force abortion clinics to upgrade to ambulatory surgical centers.

Perry's sister, Milla Perry Jones, is vice president of government relations of a company that "runs hospitals and surgery centers co-owned by doctors." Those are ambulatory surgical centers.

The connection between Perry Jones and ambulatory surgical centers was first reported by the Texas Observer in October 2012, as part of the debate over the cost of healthcare and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Under Senate Bill 1, all abortion facilities in Texas would be required to upgrade to ambulatory surgical center (ASC) standards to remain open. A full 37 of 42 Texas abortion facilities do not currently qualify. To meet ASC standards, each would have to spend around a million dollars to meet the 117 new regulations. Milla Perry Jones' company, United Surgical Partners International, will have the opportunity to profit from the facilities which can afford these wholly unnecessary "upgrades."

Will Perry's sister profit from the increased regulation on abortion facilities?

The facilities Perry Jones runs are not the Hippocratic emblems one would hope to find. Such facilities charge exorbitant prices for regular care and push expensive and unnecessary procedures on patients, drastically driving up the price of Medicare.

A 2006 federal report found that Medicare costs are 20 percent higher at doctor-owned facilities than community-owned ones. Texas is home to 90 doctor-owned facilities, the most of any state. Since Perry Jones has been in her current positions, no bills adding new rules to doctor-owned facilities have reached her brother's desk.

We deserve answers for the huge profit opportunity that Senate Bill 1 gives to companies like Perry Jones'.

Milla Perry Jones has declined to discuss her lobbying work in the past. "I'm trying to be as helpful as I can," she said before terminating a call with the Texas Observer in 2012. "I should've hung up two minutes ago."

As we shout down Rick Perry for his Big Brother reproductive policy, maybe we should keep Big Sister Milla in mind, too.

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