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Correction to Howard Fischer article on Jan 16 Brewer Medicaid presser

January 17, 2013

Correction to Howard Fischer’s article for Capitol Media Services about Gov. Brewer’s January 16 press conference about the proposed Medicaid expansion under ACA/ObamaCare:

Fischer’s first two paragraphs about the AFP-Arizona response are accurate:

Tom Jenney, the state director of Americans for Prosperity, disputed savings to business, saying uncompensated care results in “negligible cost shifting” to those who purchase health insurance, putting the figure at just 2.8 percent of all health care spending.

But a 2006 report by the Congressional Budget Office — the most recent available with specific numbers — put the figure at 13 percent for government hospitals, 4.7 percent at nonprofit operations and 4.2 percent at for-profit hospitals. Whatever the number, Jenney said if proponents really believe the “hidden tax” argument they should guarantee that Arizona families will see a $2,000-a-year cut in health insurance premiums if the state agrees to expand Medicaid.

The problematic paragraph is the third one:

Jenney acknowledged, though, that his organization, founded with money from brothers David and Robert Koch who bankroll conservative causes, opposes the federal Medicaid program entirely and, in fact, all government-run health programs.

First, that should be David and Charles, not David and Robert.  More importantly, at no point in our conversation did I suggest that AFP opposes the federal Medicaid program “entirely.”  In a recent paper, AFP suggested block granting the Medicaid program to the States, along the lines of the welfare reform achieved in the 1990s (see pp. 8-9):

http://americansforprosperity.org/files/Policy_Paper_JSC_Recommendations.pdf

While as a personal matter I am interested in exploring the question of the long-term continued existence of the Medicaid program — on economic, philosophical, and constitutional grounds — AFP as an organization focuses on what we believe are achieveable short- and medium-run policy objectives.

In any case, I am grateful to have Capitol Media Services cover some of the opposing arguments with regard to the proposed Medicaid expansion under ACA/ObamaCare.  Thanks for the ink (and/or electrons), Howie!

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

The full article is available here:

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/local/health/article_ee2993a6-60c8-11e2-9165-0019bb2963f4.html

 

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