After a government transparency group tried to alert the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of an upcoming report—which showed that a bank of webpages about Obamacare had been pulled from Medicaid.gov—a fresh batch of Obamacare information appeared in a prominent place on the site. At the bottom of Medicaid.gov’s “Program History” page, there’s now a table breaking down the numerous ways that the Affordable Care Act has affected Medicaid, expanding the number of Americans who are eligible and improving its benefits.
But a spokesman for CMS said that the update is a coincidence. The press officer that the group tried to email had been out of the office, Director of Media Relations Johnathan Monroe said in an email. “I can definitively tell you that the update was not connected to them sending us a letter or a heads-up,” he wrote.
Pacific Standard noticed the update after reporting on work from the Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project, which uses software to track tens of thousands of .gov webpages. Web Integrity Project Director Toly Rinberg says a staffer sent out inquiries to CMS in the afternoon on July 9th, and on July 11th.
The project’s software shows the “Program History” page did not contain the Affordable Care Act table on the morning of July 9th; Google’s caching shows that, by the early morning hours of July 10th, it did. The table contains all the sections that had previously appeared on an Affordable Care Act landing page that was removed from Medicaid.gov in June.