Thursday, May 8, 2014

Citizen Action Demolishes PolitiFact over Walker Claim of increasing Health Care Coverage.

This was hard to edit, since every fact presented by Citizen Action, who has been a strong advocate for expanding health care coverage, was misquoted and seriously edited to the benefit of Scott Walker. Funny how that happens all the time. Like the poll that shows Walker and Mary Burke tied at 47%. To this day, no one mentions it. 

This is the kind of stuff we've seen over and over again with Republican politicians. Why they're given the benefit of the doubt or given a pass over the most damaging things is unexplainable and surreal. Like a report on the near bankruptcy of Milwaukee County under Scott Walker. It was kept from the press because the authors didn't want it to become campaign fodder. I still can't get over that one. Here's Citizen Action's response to PolitiFact:
On a May 7th article by PolitiFact, Scott Walker was challenged on a recent campaign ad he ran declaring that…"more are going to sleep knowing they have access to health care."

Knowing our work advocating for health reform, Citizen Action of Wisconsin was asked to weigh in. We pointed out that the Governor was trying to take credit for the coverage expansion in the Affordable Care Act, which he worked so long to block. That the only numbers the state had any right to talk about were the BadgerCare enrollment figures. Here's where Politifact didn't do their job: Politifact quoted us as saying..."estimated 83,000 more people became eligible for Medicaid, while 77,000 were removed from Medicaid -- a net gain, of sorts, of 6,000 people, according to the liberal Citizen Action of Wisconsin"

But here's the thing, we didn't say there was a net gain under Walker's tenure. In email correspondence with reporters at Politifact, we pointed out that Walker had worked long and hard to reduce, not add, people to BadgerCare. Cutting people off of BadgerCare, changing eligibility rules and more. The Walker Administration was even sued for not adding people that were legally eligible for BadgerCare.

Here's what we told Politifact: "The State [BadgerCare] enrollment as of March 2014 was 738,758, the state BC+ enrollment in Jan 2011 was 775,586. Even accounting for the 6,000 more eligible it means that between now and when Walker first became governor,there are 30,828 fewer people in BadgerCare". (Email, May 1st)

When it comes to relying our position, Politifact quoted Citizen Action as saying there was a net gain of 6,000 to BadgerCare; when actually we said that there are over 30,000 fewer people in BadgerCare during Walker's tenure, and tens of thousands more could have been covered had Wisconsin accepted the federal funds for BadgerCare.

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