#ncpol: Politifact soiling its nose at the dawn of the Cooper era

Just as we thought, The N&O’s Politifact fact-checking column will, when all is said and done, have Roy Cooper looking like the most truthful political figure in American history since George Washington.

Monsieur Doran’s latest piece beats up Republicans for being mean to Ol’ Roy about his Medicaid expansion claims: 

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is locked in a court battle with Republican lawmakers over expanding Medicaid in North Carolina. But at the same time, both sides are also trying win popular support for their positions.

For Cooper, that means supporting expansion. For Republicans, it means opposing the plan.

One of Cooper’s main arguments is that North Carolina’s people and businesses are already paying for the expansion (which was created by the Affordable Care Act) even though they’re getting nothing from it.

PolitiFact North Carolina looked into that claim and ruled it Mostly True. Cooper is right, but he fails to mention one pretty big caveat: That although North Carolinians are indeed paying into the system, accepting the expansion here would trigger hundreds of millions more in costs for the state and its taxpayers.[…]

Congratulations, genius.  You just made the Republican case. 

For Roy Cooper to claim that Medicaid expansion is “already paid for” is as disingenuous as claiming that $10,0000 worth of Three Stooges commemorative dinner plates you put on your Amex is PAID FOR.   The credit card company has yet to send you a bill with all of that interest tacked on.  Until that happens, and you send them ten grand plus interest, you have PAID for NOTHING.

Federal dollars are imaginary money.  DC pledging to “pay” for something is like you plopping down your Amex to pick up dinner at Applebee’s.  Until that bill is paid in full, plus interest, you have paid for nothing.  Except the feds’s credit card bill has a balance of $20 TRILLION.  Nobody alive now will see that balance paid off.  Cooper’s claim is also not much different from claiming you PAID $10K for that new SUV in your driveway — when in fact you traded in your old car and financed the rest over six years.  You’ve actually PAID for nothing. 

The money that comes in Medicaid expansion is only temporary.  After a few years, it will be state government’s problem to come up with some money to pay for that added expenditure.   North Carolina’s Medicaid system is already wrought with fraud.  Ask the state auditor about that.  It’s already one of the most generous packages in the nation. Medicaid in North Carolina needs a lot more internal surgery before you can even seriously consider expanding it.