Dispatch Gives Gov. Kasich a Pass on False Medicaid Expansion Claims
The Columbus Dispatch still has not challenged the Kasich Administration’s false claims about Medicaid expansion funding, which the paper summarized or quoted in 8 news stories between February 13 and April 6.
Seeking to build support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Medicaid expansion, Governor John Kasich and Governor’s Office of Health Transformation Director Greg Moody have warned that “Ohio’s” Medicaid expansion funds will go to other states if legislators reject the expansion, which is not true.
States that expand Medicaid will get the same amount of funding regardless of what Ohio does. There is no defined pot of federal money being divvied up, but rather the promise of perpetual funding under PPACA’s terms for states implementing Medicaid expansion.
Media Trackers first explained this relatively simple concept in mid-February, and has informed multiple Dispatch reporters and editors in the four months since.
The Kasich Administration has also described as “Ohio’s tax dollars” the estimated $13 billion in federal funding Ohio would receive receive in the next 7 years via the PPACA Medicaid expansion, frequently claiming Medicaid expansion would “return” $13 billion to the state.
This is extremely misleading for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who understands the difference between state and federal spending.
Nonetheless, Dispatch reporters cited the governor’s claims about PPACA Medicaid expansion funding in eight news stories published over the course of nearly two months.
The Dispatch expressed no skepticism at the time, and has made no effort to hold Gov. Kasich accountable since.
In this story, the Dispatch quoted Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) as saying, “If Ohio doesn’t expand, it’s just less the federal government has to borrow from China and give our kids the credit-card bill” – but not before undermining Faber with a suggestion that his opposition was merely ideological.
“That argument does not appear to be gaining traction in a legislature loaded with Republicans who strongly oppose the federal health-care law,” the Dispatch wrote of a patently false Kasich Admin argument none of their reporters or editors have yet acknowledged is untrue.
[Editor’s note, 06/24/2013: I realized after publication that the governor’s false Medicaid expansion funding talking points were included in 02/13/2013, 03/04/2013, and 04/02/2013 Dispatch news stories. This story has been modified to reflect that]