Haley Barbour Makes Stuff Up About Poor on Medicaid Driving Fancy Cars

March 2, 2011

(ChattahBox Political News)—This guy, who actually believes that he has a shot of becoming the President of the United States by the way, just can’t stop running off at the mouth and making stuff up. In Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s (R) fevered imagination, dirt poor folks in Mississippi receiving Medicaid assistance are in reality, secretly wealthy scammers driving around in BMWs giving the taxpayers the finger. When pressed to document his wild claim that “We have people pull up at the pharmacy window in a BMW and say they can’t afford their co-payment,” Barbour has understandably, refused to respond to reporters’ inquiries. Barbour is fearmongering about every Republicans’ favorite scapegoat, Ronald Reagan’s so-called “Welfare Queen” who drives around in a fancy Cadillac and buys T-bone steaks with food stamps.

Barbour made his remarks to the Washington Post, as part of a report on some governors revolting against the costs associated with the Medicaid program.

Lately, Medicaid has become entangled in the massive fiscal difficulties facing states and the polarized politics surrounding the health-care law that Congress enacted 11 months ago.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) said states should also be free, for instance, to compel Medicaid patients to pay for part of their medicine, saying, “We have people pull up at the pharmacy window in a BMW and say they can’t afford their co-payment.”

The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler later fact-checked Barbour’s wild claims, and awarded him a score of “Four Pinocchios” for his big fat lie.

“Given that you have to be rather poor to get on Medicaid in Mississippi, it seems highly unlikely the state has many Medicaid recipients driving around BMWs, even used ones. Note that Barbour said “we have people” — suggesting this is not a rare event.”

“The failure of Barbour’s aides to provide any documentation for this claim is rather suspicious. At least Reagan’s anecdote was based on a real, though poorly remembered, newspaper article. We would welcome further explanation from Barbour, but until then this qualifies as a whopper.”

Barbour has made up stories from whole cloth before. In a controversial Weekly Standard interview last December, in which Barbour waxed nostalgic about the good ol’ segregationist Jim Crow days, as not “being that bad,” he also claimed he saw Martin Luther King speak in Yazoo City, Mississippi when he was a teen.

The problem? It never happened.


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