Republican Rep. Josh Miller of Heber Springs was interviewed by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes last night. He defended his opposition to Medicaid expansion in the face of his own significant benefit from the program. He said the government can’t afford to cover more people. He also again made the inaccurate claim that he and other opponents don’t want to take coverage away from people already signed up.
Hayes was drawn to Miller’s story by my reporting on his personal history, which Miller talked about freely — both to me and Hayes. Miller has received probably millions in federal government assistance — including ongoing insurance coverage and personal assistance — on account of a wreck 11 years ago that left him a quadriplegic. He views his situation as being different from that of working poor who’d be denied coverage by his action. He also thinks the government can’t afford expansion of medical services beyond what it already provides.
On MSNBC, Miller repeated his assertion to me that opponents don’t want to take away coverage from the 127,000 who’ve already been signed up. There’s no kind way to put this. It is inaccurate, and Miller knows it is inaccurate. To knowingly say something inaccurate is, well, a lie. David Ramsey has explained repeatedly, such as here, why it’s not true. Opponents want to kill Obamacare next year. It’s a poor fig lead that they’d let those currently signed up stay covered for a few months. The honest ones, such as Rep. Nate Bell, at least admit this.
Miller “humbly” thanked the American people and the people of Arkansas for helping him out with his medical bills, but said the state just couldn’t afford to pay more, not even the 5 percent of the bill that won’t kick in until 2017.
PS — The Democratic Party has highlighted Miller’s misdirection against a statement by an ally in the fight against Medicaid expansion:
Rep. Josh Miller: “I would like to clarify that nobody in our group is wanting to take 100,000 people off of this coverage that currently exists. We simply want to slow down the enrollment process and move at a more responsible way, moving forward so that we have an opportunity to come back in the next legislative session next year and better mold this program for several reasons.” [ MSNBC, 2/27/2014]
“Cozart said he would like to see some caps on spending and enrollment as well as a way to wind down the private-option program and “kill it” in the future.”” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2/27/2014]