Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Sooey! Obama urges Texas to mimic Arkansas

President Barack Obama talks up the Obamacare law in Dallas Nov. 6, 2013 (Associated Press, Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News).
President Barack Obama talks up the Obamacare law in Dallas Nov. 6, 2013 (Associated Press, Louis DeLuca/Dallas Morning News).

President Barack Obama, defending the health care law he ushered into place, said in Dallas this week that "A million people … could get health insurance right away" if Texas expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.

The state Health and Human Services Commission estimates that 1.4 million Texas adults who are not currently eligible for Medicaid would become eligible if the state acted on Obamacare's encouragement to expand, spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman told us by email.

Obama specifically encouraged Texas to get with the program like neighboring Arkansas.

The Democratic leader's point was that Republican-led Texas should reverse course and agree to expand access to the Medicaid program, enabling more residents to qualify for the health coverage.

Obama said next that Arkansas, which expanded Medicaid in accord with the Affordable Care Act, has reaped benefits. As a result, he said, "Arkansas has already reduced its number of uninsured by 14 percent -- already, just in the first month -- by signing people up for expanded Medicaid."

Fortuitously, Obama recently made a similar claim, which proved to be Mostly True, PolitiFact in Washington, D.C., concluded. That Nov. 4 fact check said that while Obama’s figure was very close, if not spot on, his reference to Arkansas as a case study has limited application for the rest of the country, because of the state's unique approach to Medicaid. Also, many of the state's uninsured still were waiting to get coverage via the troubled healthcare.gov website.

We’re reviewing Obama’s trio of speeches in Dallas for other factual claims worthy of close review. Read his main speech here and his remarks at political fund-raisers here and here.

What else?