Reality Check: Bachmann On Medicaid, Health Care Law

By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s claims about Minnesota need a check-up when it comes to Medicaid and the new health care law.

The outspoken Republican Congresswoman asked DFL Gov. Mark Dayton to rescind his executive order expanding Medicaid to 95,000 uninsured and underinsured Minnesotans, saying Dayton is committing the state to what she called “Obamacare.”

“Serious steps are being taken to stop this job-destroying legislation that will cause healthcare costs to rise exponentially,” said Bachmann. “Yet here in Minnesota, Governor Dayton is unyielding in his desire to fully commit our state to it.”

And at a State Capitol press conference, Bachmann appealed directly to the new governor:

“Governor Dayton, slow down!” she said.


Allowing the new governor to expand Medicaid is not a new idea. It was seven months in the making.

Proposed by former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty as a budget compromise and passed by the DFL legislature, the law allowed the new governor to decide whether to ‘opt-in’ to Medicaid.


It was DFL Governor Mark Dayton’s first official act.

The new health care law allows states already covering poor adults to move them into federal Medicaid programs.

These are people who earn less than $8000 a year, and many are disabled.

It includes 83,000 vulnerable adults on MN Care and other state programs, and 12,000 other adults who do not have insurance.

Bachmann claims it is adding to Minnesota’s deficit.

“Minnesota is in a very difficult place being $6 billion in the hole right now, in the red,” she said. “So, to make the problem worse, doesn’t seem like a prudent move on the part of the governor.”


This change costs Minnesota $384 million. It was paid for last year when Pawlenty and the legislature balanced the budget — and doesn’t add to this year’s deficit.

In exchange, the feds give Minnesota $1.2 billion to reimburse hospitals and doctors.

“It will mean more hassle, more expense, but not necessarily more or better quality health care,” Bachmann said.


Bachmann is among Republicans trying to repeal the health care law, and distributed materials claiming it will increase the federal deficit.

But the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says the opposite. That it cuts the deficit by $143 billion.

More from Pat Kessler
  • Nate

    News is not to be a persuasive presentation, but rather a neutral one that inform people of the whole store not just part of it. To clear-up some of the facts you failed to share with your viewers. Yes, the Fed’s will give MN money for 2 years for the healthcare program that Mr. Dayton signed into law. After two years the MN tax payers are solely on the hook for the additional burden. Additionally given our Nation’s economy where do you think the feds get their money from? Guess….. Oh, that’s right tax payers pay them, so again who is this costing money?
    Answer: 1st two years it costs the nation, thereafter it cost MN tax payers only!

  • January 25, 2010 « CBS Minnesota

    […] Reality Check On Bachmann For Pat Kessler’s sources, click below. Medicaid Expansion Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Medicaid And The Uninsured Congressional Budget Office Long-Term Outlook for Health Care Spending […]

  • mike

    Thanks Nate, In the back of my mind I thought there would be a fly in the ointment. There always is in these Fed programs. It’s about time people remember that. Does anyone think Pat will respond?

  • Lisa Gonyea

    It is so easy for Dayton to issue an executive order, bypassing congress, to spend more of our money. Gotta love that checks and balances system and how it doesn’t apply to Gov. Dayton.

    • Sam

      How is this bypassing Congress? Did you read the article? This has been in the works, with Pawlenty and the state Senate planning for this _last year_.

      Nate: where exactly do you see a twisting of the facts? I’ve never seen Reality Check do anything other than exactly what it states: Check the reality of statements made by politicians, no matter the party. I’ve seen it smack down Democrats as well as Republicans. Yes, Bachmann is often a target, but that’s mostly due to the fact that she’s made the distortion of truth into more than just a job; it’s a way of life for her.

  • Susan

    How sweet of Nate, Mike, and Lisa to open their their hearts and their wallets to pay for medical care for disabled adults making less than $8000 a year. They are saints, in my book. I mean, they must be offering to help these people, right? They wouldn’t just let them die without medical care???

  • Lisa Gonyea

    Oh come. Susan..we all know that no one is refused medical care that needs it. I am glad you are wealthy enough to foot the bill…I am not. At this time..I pay more for gas than I do for food. I really don’t need my taxes raised any more.

  • KT

    Did you not read the article? Pawlenty started the bill 8 months ago. Dayton just signed it.

  • Dan

    Lisa, Nate, Mike,,,

    We pay for health care for the poor regardless. However, would you rather we pay the negotiated Medicaid rate, or full retail? Have you looked at what the pre-negotiated cost of health services is right now?

  • goldoak

    We are all already paying for the care of these people, switching them to Medicare just makes it more efficient and therefore less costly in the long run. But the real cost of healthcare can never be controlled until we have a public option. For-profit healthcare is a relic of a failed ideology and just hampers our ability to compete in a global market.

  • Lisa Gonyea

    Public option idea again…should be just as cost effective as The Post Office I suppose…not sure of any govt agency that runs efficiently. I have heard the horror stories in Canada and Europe.

  • Susan

    Lisa says: we all know that no one is refused medical care that needs it.

    So taxpayers can pay for emergency room visits but not preventive care. Is that the way you would manage your health care dollars?

  • Has a HEART

    Grow get real and have a heart.. If they were born and raised in the US and there parents were born and raised in the US then we should help them.. They pay taxes TOO….

  • Lisa Gonyea

    The bottom 40% pay no taxes and lets not forget the EITC..who get more money plus their refund. As far as Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, they are traditionally much lower than the private sector and more and more health care providers are opting out of accepting Medicaid and Medicare patients.

  • John

    Lisa Gonyea… why do you hate poor people so much?

  • goldoak

    Its not whether someone likes poor people or not. That’s ridiculous.

    The point is what is the best way to provide something that every citizen needs.

    The government can do things efficiently – if we care enough to make sure it does.

    BTW, a lot of the “horror stories” we’ve heard about healthcare are simply not true. Ms. Bachmann is a prime example of where the mis-information is coming from.

  • Lisa Gonyea

    Oh…John, been there..that is why. Many years under that 8000 level..and didn’t beg govt..climbed and climbed until my self reliance got me out. Raised two fine sons …no regret and still not too rich…still waiting to hit that 32 G state, but it is what I earn, not what the govt gives me.

    • Roseanne

      Why do you automatically think that someone making “8000 level” is getting it from the state? Some people in rural MN make that working full time at Walmart and fast food restaurants. However, Walmart offers health insurance to their employees at a somewhat reasonable rate. Here in rural MN someone making less than $8000 per year and without health insurance are expected to prepay before getting medical care sometimes up to $500. Where do you get that kind of money when you only make less than $700 per month? We the consumer end up paying for it in the end because hospital costs increase along with the cost of seeing a doctor in a clinic. All because there are people who have no money or health insurance.

  • Karen Olson

    Whenever I visit Canada I ask people how they feel about their healthcare system and I’ve never heard a disparaging remark. They love it! Please check your facts. And thanks Pat, for the wonderful reality check on Michelle B.

  • goldoak

    I have many relatives and friends in Canada and in Australia. I wouldn’t say they never complain, but I’ve never heard them say they’d rather have our system.

    As a comparison, according to Kaiser Foundation survey, Canadians occasionally have slightly longer waits (depending on what treatment or test they need and where they are located) for service, but their outcomes and their costs are both dramatically better than the US. They are overall in better health than Americans and pay about half what we pay. A big part of that savings is because they’ve eliminated the profit motive from the system. The other big part is that they’ve eliminated the overhead of dealing with insurance companies who profit from making the claims process difficult.

  • dfunk

    The fact that this woman has been voted into office more then once makes me second quess my sanity. One minute listening to her, makes me scared for the people of her district. seriously look into her eyes..shes out of her mind. Please Michelle go run the bake sale in Edina

  • Dean Rans

    The whole Obamacare bill was gamed to produce a favorable CBO number. Most glaringly, the entitlement it creates – government-subsidized health insurance for 32 million Americans – doesn’t kick in until 2014. That was deliberately designed so any projection for this decade would cover only six years of expenditures – while that same 10-year projection would capture 10 years of revenue. With 10 years of money inflow vs. six years of outflow, the result is a positive – i.e., deficit-reducing – number. Surprise.

  • Joe

    I sometimes have the feeling that people don’t want to make sure their fellow citizen is well. Especially the poorer among us. I guess it is a way to reduce the surplus population? Just a thought.

  • Bachmann's husband got $137,000 in Medicaid funds - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

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