Friday, April 25, 2008

Gorman Challenges More Families USA Falsehoods

Linda Gorman has written a strong piece challenging the myth promulgated by Families USA that draconian Medicaid cuts are in the works. Instead, she points out that, "There are no overall Medicaid cuts. The Bush Administration has chopped the rate of increase from 7.4 percent to 7.1 percent."

From her OpEd:
Making Up Medicaid Cuts
Families USA Is At It Again

By Linda Gorman

If Families USA were a newspaper, it would be a supermarket tabloid carrying articles about alien abductions. Its latest campaign is a series of press releases screaming that states will lose thousands of jobs and zillions of dollars due to the Bush Administration Medicaid cuts.

Local newspapers in Colorado are repeating the Families USA press release almost verbatim.

If you are in a tax and spend health care reform haven, you may soon be seeing quotes from the Families USA director, Ron Pollack, saying things like "These cuts in federal Medicaid payments will have a ripple effect through state economies that are already struggling during this economic downturn."

In fact, as the Heritage Foundation's Nina Owcharenko explains, the Bush Administration has not proposed Medicaid budget cuts. Its FY 2009 budget proposal increases Medicaid spending by $12 to $13 billion over expected spending in FY 2008. This is in addition to FY 2005-2007 spending increases of about 10 percent. What the Bush Administration is proposing is a slightly smaller budget increase, about 7.1 percent rather than 7.4 percent. The 2009 budget numbers are available from the federal government here on page 61.

If Families USA and its fellow travelers were a real family making $50,000 a year, these budget numbers would be the equivalent of having an expected windfall of $53,700 reduced to $53,550. This small reduction in the rate of federal spending will, the people of Colorado are being told, cost Colorado "more than 3,500 jobs and an accompanying $135 million in wages," a neat trick given that Colorado is not an entity and does not earn wages.

If a newspaper in your area reproduces this nonsense, perhaps it should be politely reminded Families USA is known for approaching health care with a well defined ideological slant and for producing lousy numbers on all manner of health care issues. It might also be asked to check before reproducing Families USA press releases as news.
The original piece includes hyperlinks to a number of supporting documents.