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Ted Cruz Caught Lying About Medicaid Expansion - Twice

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was caught lying - twice -about the Affordable Care Act, specifically about the impact of Medicaid expansion. You may recall our rally at the Texas State Capitol that urged Texas' statewide lawmakers, including Cruz, to support Medicaid expansion. ("A Deafening Roar for Medicaid Expansion." At that press conference, Cruz made the following statement:

Our friends who are saying they want health care do not realize that expanding Medicaid will worsen health care options for the most vulnerable among us in Texas.
- Ted Cruz, 4/1/13

The national Politifact outlet checked Cruz's claims, and found him to be false. Not once, but twice. This isn't so surprising, since half of Ted Cruz's political claims are false, but it's impressive nonetheless to see him get ruled against two times in a row for the same thing. From their first ruling, emphasis added:

Cruz said that "expanding Medicaid will worsen health care options for the most vulnerable among us in Texas."

Not only does this assertion make no logical sense -- some health coverage should always be an improvement over none -- but the evidence Cruz and others have pointed to also doesn’t back up his point. None of the studies make the argument Cruz does, and the small sample sizes of uninsured patients, combined with the challenge of defining the terms "Medicaid" and "uninsured," pose serious questions about whether Cruz’s conclusion is valid. In fact, several authors of the papers we contacted disagreed with Cruz’s interpretation of their research.

This sweeping generalization does not hold up. We rate the claim False.

Cruz's office - undeterred by getting caught lying - pressed onward, and sent even more information to Politifact. The result? Still lying:

After we explained what our research uncovered, Cruz’s office said he stands by his comments, saying that "study after study indicates that people will be crowded out of private insurance and into Medicaid," where they will have a harder time finding a doctor who will take them.

We think it’s possible that the new law’s Medicaid expansion could drive some companies to drop coverage, involuntarily forcing some employees off a private plan and onto a Medicaid program that offers them more limited medical options. However, both research about prior Medicaid expansions and the design of the new law suggest that such cases will be the exception -- possibly a very small exception -- rather than the rule. Meanwhile, it’s not clear that Medicaid inevitably provides worse medical options than private care; whether it does is heavily dependent on the state and other factors. Because Cruz’s statement is far more sweeping than the evidence supporting it, we don’t see a reason to change our initial rating.

Cruz’s statement that "expanding Medicaid will worsen health care options" remains False.

Yet one more reason to recognize that Senator Ted Cruz is a corrupt liar who cannot be trusted.