If the past several weeks have proven anything, it’s that the mainstream media never tires of finding creatively ridiculous ways to mislead, misinform, and otherwise rodent-fornicate on the issue of Obamacare, and Politico is blazing a new trail for them. On Wednesday, the site published a story with the Drudge-baiting headline “Obamacare could increase food stamp rolls,” and even led by explaining what a great Republican talking point this is going to be.
Drudge-baiting is usually a subtler exercise than this, but in their lust for clicks, Politico just drops the robe in the first paragraph:
Republicans have another reason to hate Obamacare: It could grow the number of people on food stamps.
I know what you’re thinking, but no, it’s not because David Frum will be forced onto SNAP by the $197.37 extra he’ll have to pay if he keeps his adult children on his health insurance, which he’s only allowed to do because of Obamacare. The headline is technically accurate, Obamacare may result in increased food stamp enrollment, but only in the same way that opening a new hospital increases the number of sick patients. The article goes on to explain that the Affordable Care Act will help people who already qualify for SNAP, but either didn’t know it or otherwise weren’t enrolled, access the assistance that they already need, but aren’t getting.
Or, as Politico puts it, these people will be “targeted”:
Nearly all uninsured people now covered by the Medicaid expansion are also eligible for food stamps, but they are not all enrolled. Depending on how states put residents in these programs — many have integrated the process for SNAP and Medicaid — eligible food stamp recipients could be more easily targeted and encouraged to apply.
So far, this sounds like mostly good news. People who needed food assistance will now get it. Why is the headline not “Obamacare could connect hungry Americans with food aid,” or, if you prefer conflict, “Republican Governors screwing constituents out of food aid they qualify for?”
The article does get around (at the end of page two) to informing readers that some guys who already love poor people think this is a good thing, but they put Republican objections, unchallenged, right up front:
“It’s troubling that three years after passage, we’re still learning about new unexpected consequences from Obamacare.” wrote Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), who sponsored a bill to reform SNAP in the House, in an email to POLITICO.
“I’d be very interested to see a report on the interaction between SNAP and Obamacare,” Neugebauer wrote. “As a member of the ag committee, we’ve been dealing with the interaction between SNAP and other federal programs for years and I’ve been a strong advocate for reforming the categorical eligibility provisions that allow individuals to receive benefits when they don’t otherwise qualify for SNAP.”
Wait, but didn’t the article just say that these were people who were already qualified for food stamps? Why is Politico then printing this without challenge?
On top of all of that, the “news peg” of this article, that “The Obama administration has ordered a study to determine whether the Affordable Care Act, by increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid, will also increase the number of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” is actually eight months old. The Obama administration ordered this study back in March.
All of this, including the clinical mention of the tens of billions of dollars in SNAP cuts that Republicans already have their sights set on, is just window dressing to that enticing headline, a piece from a legitimate media outlet that allows conservatives to further link access to affordable health care to the welfare, and associated queens. Drudge hasn’t bitten yet, but others have. Patience, Politico, it’ll come.
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