January 23, 2017

Media fact checkers hover over politics like gods, giving themselves a self-appointed power to declare who lies and who speaks the truth.

Take this Fact Check of Governor Cooper’s claim we already pay for Medicaid expansion.

The News and Observer headlines ”NC Gov. Roy Cooper on Medicaid expansion in North Carolina: “You’re already paying for it.”

They add Cooper ”Says North Carolinians are “already paying for” Medicaid expansion, even though the state hasn’t expanded Medicaid.”

The media gods rule Cooper’s claim mostly true. That’s convenient because it fits their narrative that a bigger welfare state is great.

But how can we pay for Medicaid expansion that hasn’t happened? We can’t. And if Cooper’s Medicaid expansion does happen, North Carolina taxpayers will need to pony up $3-$6 billion in matching money going forward. That’s not chump change. It’s a fiscal grenade that will blow up priorities like education and infrastructure.

Cooper wants people to think our Medicaid expansion money from Washington is going to other states. That’s false, according to the Nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

CRS said: “If a state chooses not to expand Medicaid to childless adults as specified under the Affordable Care Act / ‘Obamacare,’ are the federal funds that would have otherwise been spent on that state’s Medicaid expansion funds somehow being sent to other states?

No. If a state doesn’t implement the ACA Medicaid expansion, the federal funds that would have been used for that state’s expansion are not being sent to another state. There is not a set amount of federal funding for Medicaid. Each states gets the federal funding necessary for their Medicaid program.

If a state has implemented the ACA Medicaid expansion, then the states receive federal Medicaid funding for their approved expenditures under the ACA Medicaid expansion.

If a state hasn’t implemented the ACA Medicaid expansion, the state would not receive any federal Medicaid funding for the expansion. However, this doesn’t mean any additional federal Medicaid funding would be allocated to states that have implemented the expansion.”

Seems clear. No North Carolina money goes elsewhere. The media gods didn’t mention CRS. It doesn’t help their spin – or Cooper’s.