Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) blasted Mike Pence on Saturday in response to his comments before the National Governors Association on Friday, a speech in which the vice president blatantly mischaracterized the harmful impact Trumpcare would have on Medicaid.
“I’m going to say it – there is real evil in the epidemic rate of lying that is going on right now,” Murphy tweeted in response to a video of Pence speaking about the bill.
“This is not normal,” Murphy added.
I’m going to say it – there is real evil in the epidemic rate of lying that is going on right now. This is not normal. https://t.co/ifkV1GWAUH
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) July 15, 2017
“Let me be clear: President Trump and I believe the Senate health care bill strengthens and secures Medicaid for the neediest in our society,” Pence said in the video. “And this bill puts this vital American program on a path to long-term sustainability. Under the Senate health care bill, federal Medicaid spending will be $300 to $500 billion dollars higher over the next decade relative to current amounts.”
— Vice President Pence (@VP) July 14, 2017
ThinkProgress’ Aaron Rupar notes:
Note Pence’s careful use of the phrase “relative to current amounts.” What he didn’t tell listeners is that Trumpcare represents a devastating cut to Medicaid funding relative to current law. As a result, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently concluded that if Trumpcare becomes law, 15 million Americans will lose Medicaid coverage over the next decade.
That wasn’t the only misleading statement in Pence’s speech on Friday. At one point, Pence claimed that Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid — an expansion Ohio and Pence’s home state of Indiana both took advantage of — produced waiting lists for disabled citizens to obtain coverage.
“I know Governor Kasich isn’t with us, but I suspect that he’s very troubled to know that in Ohio alone, nearly 60,000 disabled citizens are stuck on waiting lists, leaving them without the care they need for months or even years,” Pence said.
Murphy’s critical comments come after Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s (R) office rejected Pence’s claim that 60,000 disabled Ohioans are on waiting lists for Medicaid’s home and community-based services.
Kasich spokesman Jon Keeling called Pence’s claim “not accurate,” adding that to suggest Medicaid expansion hurt the state’s developmentally disabled “system is false, as it is just the opposite of what actually happened.”
“That waiting list is nothing new, and to attribute it to expansion is absurd,” said Families USA’s senior director of health policy, Eliot Fishman.
The Washington Post further explained what is actually happening in Ohio:
The waiting lists Pence referred to apply to Medicaid’s home and community-based services, and have not been affected by the program’s expansion under the ACA. States have long had waiting lists for these services, and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s executive vice president, Diane Rowland, noted that waiting lists in non-expansion states are often longer than in expansion states, which currently receive a 95 percent federal match for their newly covered beneficiaries.
Rupar adds: “Administration officials have scrubbed information about Trumpcare’s dire consequences from press releases. They’ve used misleading claims to try and discredit the CBO. They’ve pretended to care about providing relief for uninsured Americans while pushing a bill that would nearly double their ranks.”