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Michele Bachmann Defends Medicaid Payments To Husband's Clinic

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Newscom

"Medicaid is a valuable form of insurance for many Americans and it would be discriminatory not to accept Medicaid as a form of payment," a spokeswoman for Bachmann's campaign said in a statement on Wednesday responding to questions about the payments. "As a state-sponsored counseling service, Bachmann and Associates has a responsibility to provide Medicaid and medical assistance, regardless of a patient's financial situation."

Critics say that the money undercuts Bachmann's small-government rhetoric, since she's frequently called for scaling back Medicare funds and criticized her state's governor for swelling the "welfare rolls" by expanding the program.

"She's giving hypocrisy a bad name," Ron Pollock, executive director of health care advocacy group Families USA, told NBC. "It's clear when it feathers her nest she's happy for Medicaid expenditures. But people that really need it -- folks with disabilities and seniors -- she's turning their backs on them."

Medicaid payments are not the only public funds that have come under scrutiny in recent weeks. Bachmann also reported income in recent years from a family farm that she partly owns that received $260,000 in federal cash from 1995 to 2008. Bachmann opposes farm subsidies and claims she did not receive any money from the property.