Republicans say Medicaid doesn’t work, so it should be cut. Here are all the ways they’re wrong – Los Angeles Times

The dirtiest little secret of the RepublicansObamacare repeal campaign is that its genesis has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act as such, but with a long-cherished desire to gut Medicaid, which predated the ACA by nearly a half-century.

To advance this goal, conservatives and GOP leaders have asserted consistently that Medicaid doesn’t work or even “harms its beneficiaries.” Health economist Austin Frakt of Veterans Affairs and Boston University now has done Medicaid’s defenders an important service by issuing a call to collect in one place all the claims that the program is broken or harmful, and then pointing us to research debunking those smears.

To be fair, the goal of gutting Medicaid as part of Obamacare repeal isn’t really much of a secret. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., gave the game away in a videotaped discussion with National Review’s Rich Lowry in March. There he confessed, “So Medicaid, sending it back to the states, capping its growth rate, we’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around — since you and I were drinking at a keg…. I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a long time.”

Ryan is 47 now, so he would have been dreaming about cutting Medicaid in the early 1990s while “drinking at a keg,” perhaps at frat parties at his alma mater, Miami University of Ohio. The ACA was enacted in 2010.


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