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O'Keefe caricature
(Caricature by DonkeyHotey)

Would-be felon and confirmed liar James O'Keefe has found a new target: Medicaid. Just in time to help Rep. Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues in their efforts to decimate the program.

O'Keefe took his unique skills in cutting and pasting video as a "citizen journalist" to Ohio to prove "widespread Medicaid fraud." Media Matters reports and debunks.

The video is a compilation of several clips, showing two men, posing as Russian drug smugglers who own an expensive car, visiting offices of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in Columbus, Marion County, Madison County, and Franklin County, Ohio. The men are asking about applying for Medicaid for their father and are not applying for Medicaid coverage for themselves.

All of the clips are edited, and the presentation concludes with the "uncut" video of the visit to the office in Columbus. In the videos, the government employees help the two men through the application process, and the worker in Columbus emphasizes that she cannot definitively say whether or not their father is eligible to receive Medicaid. This worker is also clear that assets such as insurance and cars registered in their father's name have to be declared on the application.[...]

Given that most of the videos are edited and that we only see an "uncut" version of one of them, it does not appear that O'Keefe has uncovered "widespread" fraud. The workers in the videos help the men through the Medicaid application process and do not guarantee eligibility for their father. In the edited videos, we do not see the full responses of the workers.

One county worker in Columbus—these are county employees—does tell the men their home will not be searched and, if an expensive car the father supposedly owns is not registered in the U.S., they don't have to report it. In another of the heavily edited videos, a worker refers them to Planned Parenthood when they ask for abortion services for their underaged sister. In one of the edited calls included in the video, Politico reports, "One of the men says, that in Russia, 'No government employee ever help you ... thanks to hope and change, finally ... a Russian drug dealer can get Medicaid and abortion for his sisters and cousins.'" Subtle, huh? They further report:

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services spokesman Ben Johnson clarified that the employees in the video were county employees, not state employees, and said, "The video is obviously very troubling, we are looking into the matter, we are working with the counties to try and find out what exactly happened. ... Should the video turn out to be accurate, we would hope the counties would at the very least discipline these workers."

He also stressed that these conversations were not part of the formal benefit application process.

"Before actually providing Medicaid services, there's a verification process that involves Social Security numbers, applicants have to prove citizenship, so some of the issues this video raises would have eventually come to light in the application process," Johnson said.

No fraud, just advice. Just like in O'Keefe's Planned Parenthood "sting." We know O'Keefe and the deep pockets who keep him in hidden cameras and recorders hate poor people, that's why they took on ACORN. Now we know they also hate old people and disabled children, since they're going after Medicaid. The main question is whether the traditional media, once again, is going to let them—and specifically pathological liar O'Keefe—get away with it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 19, 2011 at 09:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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