Providing some unintentional comedy, CNN anchor Poppy Harlow on Thursday lectured a conservative Congressman, telling him, “I’m not the left. I’m a journalist.” Collectively, many Americans must have thought: “What’s the difference?” The haughty defense came after Harlow demanded of Representative Jim Jordan: “Are you comfortable with that huge reduction in Medicaid funding?”
Of course, the GOP health care bill does NOT cut Medicaid. Jordan pointed this out: “Remember, it is not a cut in Medicaid. It is just a reduction in the rate of growth. So it's still going to grow a lot over the next ten years.”
Harlow couldn’t be bothered with facts, dismissing, “Come on, Congressman! That is semantics. There's inflation. There's inflation and costs have to grow and budgeting has to grow with that.”
It was at that point that Harlow’s laugh line occurred:
POPPY HARLOW: It will be cut by $834 billion for the next decades from where it would be under —
REP. JIM JORDAN: Again, the left always —
HARLOW: I'm not the left. I'm a journalist.
Jordan again tried to explain the situation to Harlow, reminding, “All I'm saying is it wouldn't reduce Medicaid. It wouldn't grow as fast as it is scheduled to grow.”
A transcript is below:
POPPY HARLOW: I would like to get you on health care. It's an issue very important to you and part of it very, very important to your State of Ohio. So, we are minutes away from the new version of the Senate GOP bill on health care being released. We've learned that the Ted Cruz amendment will be included. This would open up some of those unregulated policies to be sold on the open market. The issue is, as you know, the concern that they would not include coverage for some of those essential benefits that that would leave people really in a rut. What is your take on that and do you think the president -- hold on. Do you think the president has been out there enough on health care or do you want to see more?
REP. JIM JORDAN: I think the Cruz amendment is a huge move in the right direction. And it will create a marketplace. It will actually offer the kind of plans that consumers want. Imagine that, offering plans that patients and consumers and families would actually like to purchase and do so at a lower premium. So that to me is a great step, something that we, conservatives, have long supported and I'm pleased to hear that it's actually in the draft that's being released in a few minutes.
HARLOW: OK. So, you represent the people of Ohio. I'm actually flying to Ohio right after this show, continuing our coverage of the opioid epidemic in your state.
HARLOW: And you were a yes vote on the House GOP health care bill. As you know, that, according to the CBO would reduce federal Medicaid spending by $834 billion over the next decade, compared to where it would be under current law. As you know -- let me finish the question. As you know, many opioid addicts rely on the Medicaid expansion that happened in your state for treatment and for recovery. Are you comfortable with that huge reduction in Medicaid funding.
JORDAN: Two points. You are right. The opioid issue is tough all over the country, but certainly very tough and difficult situation in our state.
JORDAN: We need to do all we can to help with that situation, in cities like Dayton and some of the cities that I get to represent in western and north central Ohio. So, you know, that's -- but, to the Medicaid issue. Remember, it is not a cut in Medicaid. It is just a reduction in the rate of growth. So it's still going to grow a lot over the next ten years.
HARLOW: Come on, Congressman! That is semantics. There's inflation. There's inflation and costs have to grow and budgeting has to grow with that. I mean that is semantics. It will be cut by $834 billion for the next decades from where it would be under —
JORDAN: Again, the left always —
HARLOW: I'm not the left. I'm a journalist. I'm telling you what the non-partisan CBO says. And they say if you take — versus the laws that you sign off on, it would reduce it by $834 billion —
JORDAN: There's a lot of question about the CBO's score. Look at the Forbes piece two weeks ago.
HARLOW: And all I'm asking you -
JORDAN: And all I'm saying is it wouldn't reduce Medicaid. It wouldn't grow as fast as it is scheduled to grow.