Who guards the Fox house?
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly
It was quite a matchup in the Republican presidential debate last week, Donald Trump versus Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. Why? They’re both liars. Trump’s modus for lying couldn’t be more direct. Kelly clothes hers in deviousness.
In these debates, it’s common for the candidates to prevaricate in their answers to the television journalists’ probing, objective, honest questions. And then there’s Fox News. Ms. Kelly framed a question to Ohio Gov. John Kasich that carried an agenda and was dishonest.
Have you stopped beating your wife?
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
“Governor Kasich, you chose to expand Medicaid in your state, unlike several other governors on this stage tonight, and it is already over budget, by some estimates costing taxpayers an additional $1.4 billion in just the first 18 months. You defended your Medicaid expansion by invoking God, saying to skeptics that when they arrive in heaven, Saint Peter isn’t going to ask them how small they’ve kept government, but what they have done for the poor.” Time out: Anybody who doesn’t live in a cave knows that Fox News’ right-wing ideology condemns government programs to help the poor. Ms. Kelly continued: “Why should Republican voters, who generally want to shrink government, believe that you won’t use your Saint Peter rationale to expand every government program?” Translation: Gov. Kasich, you’re just not right-wing enough for us Fox-ers.
To be honest (since honesty seems to be in short supply here), I missed the deviousness, the Fox-iness, in that question. Fortunately, the people at the news website Daily Coz didn’t. Here’s the Coz’s response:
Coz and effect
“This is not about waste or profligacy. The sole reason for the extra costs is because Ohio’s Medicaid expansion proved so necessary and appealing that more people signed up than predicted. Do you catch the trick? Ohio’s Medicaid expansion is not so vital and successful beyond expectations; no, it is ‘over budget.’”
“Still, what about the $1.4 billion in extra costs?” The Coz’s answer to its question: “All of it, 100%, is covered by the federal ACA (Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare) program, without any additional costs to Ohioans.”
When Kelly mentions “the taxpayers,” one can assume she is talking about Ohio taxpayers. “But the ACA federal taxes are already being collected, and they don’t go up or down whether Ohio expands Medicaid, rejects Medicaid or enrolls more (or less) than they expected in Medicaid,” the Coz notes. “If Ohio Republicans succeeded in taking away their citizens’ insurance, federal taxpayers would not save a penny.”
“Much of the unexpected ACA Medicaid expansion consisted of former (traditional) Medicaid members learning that they are eligible for the new, expanded ACA Medicaid … The Medicaid expansion is paid 90%-100% by the federal government, while the traditional Medicaid is paid around 50%. So, with respect to the ‘overage,’ Ohio is getting double the Medicare reimbursement by accepting Obamacare, and eliminating the (substantial but inadequate) amounts that it used to spend on the uninsured.”
The net effect of the Medicaid expansion, Coz notes, has been hugely beneficial to Ohio. So far, it has been in every state that accepted the Medicaid expansion.”
The right wing and the wrong wing
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Gov. Kasich is a Republican. He let what was good for his Ohio constituents trump ideology (even The Donald told an interviewer this week that we have to provide for people’s medical needs). Not so with Florida Gov. Rick Scott. He turned down $78 billion (that’s with a b) in federal funds for Medicaid expansion to 830,000 uninsured people who fell between the criteria for receiving either Medicaid or assistance under the ACA. So what happens to those people who are uninsured? They get sicker, and live shorter lives, meanwhile running to hospital emergency rooms for free care when their conditions become dire, causing health costs to rise as hospitals raise their rates to make up for these expenses.
Said the Daily Koz, “The refusal of some 20 Republican governors or state legislatures to accept the ACA Medicaid expansion has to rank as one of the biggest political and moral scandals of modern times. To allow millions of citizens to suffer or die needlessly without health insurance merely to continue a political grudge (over Obamacare) is beyond reprehensible,” but states’ doing so when the federal government pays all or almost all of the bill “descends to abject immorality. That funding fact, alone, makes today’s sad episode one for the history books.”
Exposing the Fox
Kelly, said Coz, “certainly knew what she was obfuscating. Sorry, Megyn. The politics of your Republican bosses remain immoral … historically immoral. A true journalist would report the crime, not aid in covering it up.”