The Deaf Claque

Because they’re worth clapping for…probably…

White House Release: “Just the Facts”…But No Context…

By Nathan Schmitt


Once again, using the headline “Just The Facts,” the White House has released what appears to be a bit of a misrepresentation of the (new) SCHIP renewal bill. I responded to the White House’s previous misrepresentation of facts (as opposed to outright lying) under the same headline, and this one is no better. Here are some of the problems as I see them:

“The Democrats’ new legislation also permits States to keep adults on the program through 2012. ” (1)

Here is what it seems they are referring to: (Title I, Subtitle A, Sec. 101, Subsection 2111)

(2) TERMINATION OF CHIP COVERAGE UNDER APPLICABLE EXISTING WAIVERS AT THE END OF 2008

  • (A) IN GENERAL- No funds shall be available under this title for child health assistance or other health benefits coverage that is provided to a nonpregnant childless adult under an applicable existing waiver after December 31, 2008.

And the exception:

(3) STATE OPTION TO APPLY FOR MEDICAID WAIVER TO CONTINUE COVERAGE FOR NONPREGNANT CHILDLESS ADULTS

  • (A) IN GENERAL- Each State for which coverage under an applicable existing waiver is terminated under paragraph (2)(A) may submit, not later than September 30, 2008, an application to the Secretary for a waiver under section 1115 of the State plan under title XIX to provide medical assistance to a nonpregnant childless adult whose coverage is so terminated (in this subsection referred to as a `Medicaid nonpregnant childless adults waiver’).” (2)

Regardless of the end date of the phase-out, it would seem from reading this that the states must request an exceptional circumstance from the federal government. This seems to contradict the argument that it “permits States to keep adults on the program through 2012.” I would also like to point out that this argument by the White House stands in stark contrast to what the WaPo reported earlier today:

[The new bill] will ease adults off the program in one year, rather than the two in the vetoed version.” (3)

Read through the bill and decide for yourself who got the facts completely wrong, one of them certainly did and it’s not entirely clear who.
The White House also argues:

The Democrats’ new legislation continues to allow SCHIP to cover ineligible individuals. The legislation imposes no sanction if a person fraudulently attests to being a U.S. citizen. During the period of time that the State is conducting an investigation (if Social Security finds an inconsistency with the stated Social Security number), it must continue medical assistance to the applicant.” (1)

Is an allegation of fraud reason enough to cut off health care? It seems as if they have forgotten a little thing that we in the U.S. happen to base our entire judicial process on: presumption of innocence; the accused, or person subject to investigation, is innocent until proven guilty. Of course, there are exceptions like interlocutory injunctions in courts of equity, but courts of equity don’t act strictly based on legality.

I’d like to point out that I don’t intend to make any judgments about the administration, the point here is to highlight possible inconsistent or out-of-context arguments.

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October 26, 2007 - Posted by | Congress, General Discourse, Health Care, Nathan Schmitt, SCHIP, White House | , ,

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