Are 88 percent of Medicaid recipients going to lose their benefits? Get real, LA Times.

When I see the headline, “Study: 44 million could lose Medicaid coverage under GOP plan,” I expect to read an article that says 44 million people are going to lose coverage — or roughly 88 percent of current Medicaid enrollees.

In fact, that's not the case at all. This story in the LA Times this week parrots a study by the left-wing Urban Institute (a fact mentioned only in the last paragraph). The 44 million number can only be reached by counting people who do not get Medicaid now but might become eligible for it in three years, when Obamacare massively expands Medicaid eligibility.

What's more, the discussion of what states would do with a Medicaid block grant program (draconian cuts!) completely omits the state where this is being done, with great savings and few sob stories — deep Red Rhode Island.

This is a very misleading and politically charged headline atop a slightly less misleading story about a misleading study. It adds more heat than light to the topic. Instead of bleating that millions of people are about to “lose” something they don't even have, perhaps we should be asking whether this is a good time to expand a huge federal entitlement program.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

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