(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Reporters covering the Medicaid debate at the state Capitol should read Denver Post opinion writer Megan Schrader’s column today and act on it.
Schrader: “It’s simply disingenuous to imply that there are easy cuts to be made in the Medicaid portion of the budget, or to blame the state budget’s woes on the expansion pushed by Obama and adopted by Gov. John Hickenlooper.”
Translation for journalists: When Republican leaders blame Medicaid for state budget woes, reporters should ask them how they want to cut the state-federal program, which offers healthcare for children, elderly, the disabled, and other poor people.
Last year, Republicans, led by then State Senator Bill Cadman repeatedly claimed Medicaid was siphoning money from “every other program” in the state budget, including roads and schools.
Cadman told 9News: “[Democrats] have ignored the needs and demands of about five million people to specifically support one program, and it cannibalizes every other program. They’ve ignored the Constitution and put K-12 money into this program. I mean, they’ve ignored the roads, and put money into this program.
But in an epic fail, journalists never really reported how Cadman or other Republicans proposed cutting Medicaid or saving money on the program through higher fees or the like. They reported the attack on the program but let the details slide by.
In her column, Schrader encourages Democrats and Republicans to try to find savings, and she acknowledges the difficulty in talking about them–which is precisely why reporters should be asking for specifics, especially from Republicans, who, unlike Democrats, are arguing that Medicaid cuts are a major part of the path out of Colorado’s budget woes.