Clinton’s Medicaid Attack

Sep 6 2012 @ 3:22pm

Frum found it extremely effective:

Republicans have promised to hold harmless from Medicare changes everyone under age 55, assuring high-voting senior citizens that they have nothing to fear from Republican budget plans. But while Medicare is left alone until 2023, Medicaid is immediately subject to very large cuts. Many of us may think of Medicaid as above all a program for the poor. It is also, however, increasingly the way in which America pays for nursing home care — and indeed nursing care is the fastest-growing part of Medicaid. Very large and immediate Medicaid cuts draw a large early question mark over the future of nursing care — not just for those now under 55, but for the current elderly.

Sarah Kliff fact-checks Clinton's Medicare and Medicaid attacks. He claimed that "nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid." That isn't true: 

Kaiser Family Foundation looked at this issue in an April 2012 brief. It found that, "Although these ‘dual eligibles’ accounted for only 15 percent of Medicaid enrollment in 2008, 39 percent of all Medicaid expenditures for medical services were made on their behalf."

Here’s where his number probably comes from: Later in the Kaiser brief, it notes that of all the Medicaid dollars spent on dual eligibles, 69 percent were for long term care services. But there’s a big difference between 69 percent of 39 percent of Medicaid spending – and two-thirds of all Medicaid dollars.