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Plunderbund gets it wrong again

Plunderbund is the major left-wing blog in Ohio. And they have a burning hatred for Governor Kasich, the man who prevented their beloved Ted Strickland from winning a second term as governor. In their obsession to demonize all things Kasich, they often end making fools of themselves.

Today, they did it again. They published a “fact check” of the Kasich administration’s cost estimates of the increased burden of Medicaid spending on the state budget in the wake of the Obamacare decision. And they blew it. Big time.

Their entire “analysis” focuses on the “expansion of Medicaid”. Obamacare requires the states to expand their Medicaid eligibility to everyone earning under 133% of the poverty level. Under the current system, you are not eligible unless you earn 90% or less.

Even though the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, it threw out the requirement that states must comply with the Medicaid expansion. So, Ohio has a choice to make. Do we expand Medicaid eligibility in Ohio or not?

The problem is, that even without expanding Medicaid eligibility in Ohio, the upholding of the mandate is going to cost Ohio taxpayers. Big time. You see, under the current system, there are 400,000 Ohioans who are eligible for Medicaid, but who are not enrolled. For whatever reason, they’ve chosen not to do so.

But starting in 2014, the individual mandate kicks in and will force most of them to enroll. The federal government pays only 57% of medicaid costs. States have to pick up the rest, and Medicaid spending soaks up around a third of Ohio’s budget. From the Plain Dealer (the same link the Plunderpals used):

The administration expects about 319,000 of them will sign up by 2014, costing Ohio $369 million, the state’s share of the coverage. The federal government pays the lion’s share.

By 2015, McCarthy figures the other 80,000 or so would be enrolled, driving Ohio’s cost for the newly enrolled to $571 million for that year, for a two-year total of $940 million.

Unless Obamacare is repealed, the $940 million cost will hit our state budget whether Ohio expands Medicaid or not, because most of those who are currently eligible are going to come out of the woodwork and enroll, because the federal government is forcing them to.

Plunderbund’s entire “fact check” is regarding a supposed claim from Kasich that Medicaid expansion will actually cost the state a lot of money. They claim that Kasich and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor are lying about the cost of Mecicaid expansion.

But they haven’t even been discussing the cost of Medicaid expansion. In fact, they clearly said they are putting off a decision on that because they have to deal with the $940 million hit to the next budget, before even getting into expansion. Here is precisely what Kasich and Taylor have been saying, again, from the exact same links Plunderbund used.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Taylor said the state will pay additional Medicaid costs even without expanding the program. The administration estimates that 319,000 Ohioans who are eligible for Medicaid under current guidelines but not enrolled will sign up in 2014 when the mandate takes effect.

From the Plain Dealer:

“These are things we are going to be considering as we move through the next budget process,” Taylor said. “Quite frankly we’re not sure where we’re going to get the money from to cover the additional obligation of spending, let alone have the discussion about the expansion of Medicaid.”

Also from the Plain Dealer:

Still, Kasich’s administration says the cost is too much, in part, because Ohio already has to pick up the bill for more people expected to enroll in Medicaid once the law’s individual mandate, requiring most people to have health insurance, takes effect. Kasich estimates that could cost Ohio $940 million in 2014 and 2015.

Kasich said he wanted to deal with that cost before “I can think about anything else.”

The Plunderdumbs are fact-checking and rating “false” a claim that the administration never made. All because of a failure of basic reading comprehension, brought on by a blindness caused by looking for a reason to attack every single thing this administration says and does.

Maybe having egg on their face this time will cause them to not be so quick to attack in the future. (Ha! I just made a funny!)

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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