National Review Institute | Media Malpractice National Review Institute | Media Malpractice About NRI

Frum Gets Health Care History Wrong

In the January/February 2010 2010 issue of The Atlantic, David Frum writes:

Almost every concept in Obama’s intensely controversial health plan has at one point or another been advanced by a senior Republican, from Bob Dole to Mitt Romney.

Frum appears to buy himself some wiggle room when says “almost ever concept” … but the numbers do not lie. In both the House and Senate versions of the bill, over half of those who gain health insurance do so through a Medicaid expansion.

According to the President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the House bill, of the 34 million Americans that would gain insurance coverage by 2010, 21 million (three-fifths) would do so by enrolling in Medicaid. The bill makes this possible by expanding program eligibility to 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

And in the Senate bill, which only expands Medicaid eligibility to 133% of poverty, 18 million of the 33 million Americans expected to gain health insurance would do so through Medicaid.

The Medicaid expansion is the heart and soul of President Obama’s health care plan. Frum needs to identify which past Republican leaders who advanced such a concept.