Health Care

Ilhan Omar Misquotes Article, Falsely Claims Child ‘Died’ Due to Dropped Medicaid Coverage

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Representative Ilhan Omar tweeted a link to a New York Times article Thursday morning and falsely claimed a child “died as a direct result of Trump’s cuts to Medicaid and CHIP,” even though the article makes no such claim.

After critics pointed out Omar’s inaccuracy on Twitter, her account tweeted an addendum saying the child had “almost died.”

The Times’ article paints a fearful account of rising uninsurance rates among eligible Medicaid families due to amended paperwork requirements and deportation fears, and implies shifts in policy under the Trump administration are behind the decreasing enrollment. But HHS Administration for Children and Families spokesman told the paper that recent rises are due to factors in individual states.

“I went to the E.R. thinking he had insurance. If the receptionist had not seen him turning blue, she might have just said, ‘He’s not covered, so we can’t see him today.’ I do think about that.,” Karen Johnson, the boy’s mother, told The Times. The nine-month old was taken to the intensive care unit for a respiratory virus, treated successfully, and later released.

The rest of the story also undercuts Omar’s initial tweet, as the Times reports that “Trump administration officials have not explicitly tried to limit children’s Medicaid coverage.” After an appointment with an enrollment counselor, it was revealed that Johnson had missed a window to provide proof of income to re-enroll her three children.

The Johnsons are now re-enrolled successfully, and Karen is counting on Medicaid to cover the hospital bills retroactively.

Medicaid retroactively covers eligible patients up to three months after the month of application.

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