Mike Pence Gets Brutal Fact Check From Fellow Republicans on Health Care
Ohio Republicans Call Out Lies About Medicaid Pushed By Mike Pence
There is no question about how deeply unpopular the Republican health care bill continues to be with the public. Because of its terribleness, even the White House has gone on the offensive trying to sell it. The team around Donald Trump has been pushing Republican Senators to get the bill to the 50-vote mark and a step closer to passing. And the latest tactic used by Vice President Mike Pence to garner support for the potential disaster: lie about Medicaid.
It’s probably no surprise to anyone to see dishonesty from this White House. But what may be surprising is who busted Pence for the lie: his fellow Republicans.
During a speech at the National Governors Association, Pence had this to say about Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich:
I know Gov. Kasich isn’t with us, but I suspect that he’s very troubled to know that in Ohio alone, nearly 60,000 disabled citizens are stuck on waiting lists, leaving them without the care they need for months or even years.
The comments led Jon Keeling, Press Secretary for Kasich, to call out Pence with one of Donald Trump’s favorite phrases:
— Jon Keeling (@KeelingOHIO) July 14, 2017
Kasich’s communications department also weighed in on Twitter. They stated, “The claim is not accurate. It’s been fact checked twice.”
The Columbus Dispatch also noted the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation had debunked the claim in their own report.
But Kaiser itself analyzed the data and concluded “there does not appear to be a relationship between a state’s Medicaid expansion status and changes in its … waiver waiting list.” Kaiser noted that about 40 percent did not qualify for a waiver when they signed up for one, while as many as 90 percent of those with certain types of disabilities already are getting some form of non-waiver Medicaid help.
The foundation also learned that waiting lists in non-expansion states are often longer than those in expansion states.
Pence has been leaning on Republican governors in an effort to swing some GOP Senators to support the health care bill. Ohio Senator Rob Portman remains undecided on the bill because of the Medicaid cuts. Pence also met with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval yesterday to talk about the bill. Nevada Senator Dean Heller has not announced support for the bill, but rumors are swirling he will be “bought off” to bring him around.
The Republican Obamacare repeal and replace plan cuts over $700 billion from Medicaid over ten years, dumping millions of people from the program. 80 percent of those covered by Medicaid are children, elderly adults, and disabled folks. The program now covers one in five Americans and, in Ohio alone, 725,000 people have gained coverage because of the expansion of Medicaid in the state.
It’s clear the Trump White House is getting desperate in selling this bad bill. And if they can gain votes by Mike Pence pushing a false narrative, they will do so.
But if enough Republicans are willing to call this administration’s lies out as those in Ohio have, the horrendous repeal and replace of Obamacare might finally die a deserved death in the Senate.
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
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