Update 10:45pm Eastern. Rob Bluey reports:
As Democrats stage the ultimate political stunt Thursday with an override vote of President Bush’s SCHIP veto, Republicans are actually planning to do something about saving the children’s health care program.
Sens. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) will join Reps. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), Tom Price (R-Ga.), Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) to introduce an alternative to the Democrats’ $35-billion expansion. The lawmakers plan an afternoon news conference in the Capitol around the time of the veto vote.
Their alternative, based on a proposal crafted by the Heritage Foundation, consists of three elements:
1) A full reauthorization of SCHIP. The program would continue to cover children in families with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level;
2) A child health care tax credit. Rather than putting more people on a government-run program, the legislation advances tax credits to families with incomes between 200% and 300% of the poverty level; and
3) A health care “federalism” initiative. This piece would complement both the reauthorization and the tax changes in expanding health care coverage, and would encourage even more dramatic health care experimentation at the state level with different approaches to coverage expansion.
Update 9:21pm Eastern. House Democrats are warming up for the veto override vote tomorrow. There are three Dems on the floor right now forming an echo chamber. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz boils down the “debate:”
“It’s who’s for kids versus who stands with the President.”
File under “Death of the Grown-up,” Part 99,999.
Interestingly, one of the Democrats on the floor says blatantly that their fight is indeed about getting government-subsidized health insurance for the middle-class. He said it several times.
After degenerating into a Democrat jokefest about their baseball teams, GOP Rep. Steve King–adult–takes the floor. “What they’re not saying is that the question is: ‘Are we going to lay down the cornerstone for socialized medicine or not?'”
Update 1:15pm Eastern. Well, well. Read this: MoveOn Threatens Republicans With New SCHIP Ads.
And now read this fund-raising letter from the MoveOn thugs cashing in on S-CHIP (via S.M.)…
From: Noah T. Winer, MoveOn.org Political Action mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Wed, 17 Oct 2007 12:46:30 -0400
Subject: Meet Bethany
We’re down to the wire on kids’ health care—a few votes away from victory. USAction is highlighting one of the best reasons to override Bush’s veto—Bethany, a 2-year-old girl who might not be here today without SCHIP. Click below to see the ad—it’s powerful—and donate $25 to get a 30-second version on the air.
Dear MoveOn member,
We’re just a few votes short of overriding President Bush’s veto and allowing millions of kids to see a doctor when they’re sick. The vote is tomorrow.1 It’s time to pull out all the stops.
We need to remind Republicans there will be dramatic consequences if they stand with Bush on this one. The consequences aren’t just political: this means real health problems for millions of real kids.
One of those kids is Bethany, a 2-year-old girl born with a heart defect who’s only healthy today because of the SCHIP children’s health program. Our friends at USAction put together an ad with her story, and we want to raise money to tell that story in the districts of representatives who vote wrong.
Our goal is to raise at least $200,000 today to run the ad. Can you chip in $25? Our ad will be a slightly shorter version of the video you can see by clicking here—you should check it out:
The more we raise today, the more members of Congress will think twice about our ad campaign before they vote.
Bethany Wilkerson was born with several holes in her heart. Her family lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, on an annual income of $34,000—not poor, but unable to afford private health insurance. Even if they could, Bethany’s “pre-existing condition” makes it impossible to qualify. Only because of SCHIP is Bethany healthy today.
With children’s lives hanging in the balance, this is a politically risky vote for Republicans, and they’re watching public reaction closely to decide what to do. We’re announcing our ad to the local press in the districts of our top targets. No member of Congress will be able to vote against our kids without knowing they will be held accountable by voters.
But this isn’t just about scaring Congress into voting the right way. Some people will vote wrong, and it’s critically important to let their constituents know they abandoned our kids.
At last night’s vigils, we lit candles for the millions of children who are one vote away from having health insurance. Here are a few of your highlights:
Chanting, connecting with others, and responding to MANY supportive honks from passing drivers.—Margaret N., East Lansing, MI
Having children deliver hand written message to the congressman’s office.—Jim G., Chico, CA
We started the action in the wind and rain with candles blowing out immediately. Mid-way through a magnificent rainbow appeared and grew brighter. At the end the sun was shining. —Judy T., Lopez Island, WA
President Bush vetoed SCHIP because it’s such a successful public program—and the right-wing’s ideology is about running the government into the ground to keep it from serving the common good. But children’s health care has so much popular support that Bush’s supporters are paying a heavy political price for defending this failed ideology.
Together—with phone calls, rallies, vigils, letters, and TV ads—we can make the political price too high for opponents of children’s health care to stomach.
Can you contribute $25 to pressure House members to override Bush’s veto of children’s health care? Click here:
Thank you for all you do.
–Noah, Adam G., Jennifer, Carrie, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
1. “Poll Reflects Republican Divisions on SCHIP,” NPR, October 17, 2007
PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
Update 11:25am Eastern. Bush briefly addressed S-CHIP at his morning press conference, noting that he supports covering 500,000 children who are eligible for the current program and questioning the creeping entitlement in states where more adults than children are now covered by S-CHIP. Bush complains that “we weren’t dialed in” on the legislative process. Reporters whining about lack of bipartisanship. “Isn’t it your responsibility to work with Congress to make sure you don’t get to the veto point?” And I’m so sure the White House press corps would hammer a Democrat president with the same indignant question.
Last Bush comment on S-CHIP: “I don’t like plans that encourage people to move from private plans to the public. And that’s what that bill would do.”
Meanwhile, the Dems traded in tots for singer Paul Simon, who called President Bush’s veto, what else, “a heartless act:”
Several readers e-mailed to inform me that I’ve earned a down arrow from the “Conventional Wisdom” charters at Newsweek.
Or is it KOSweek now?
This reporter asked Pelosi “Is it appropriate for opponents of SCHIP expansion to openly question the circumstances that led some children to become spokespeople for that expansion?”
Pelosi replied that she “would not censor” critics and “I can’t control what they have to say,” but much of it was “beneath the integrity of the debate.”
She classified many of the “attacks that impugn children” as coming from “hate radio.”
Are our questions and arguments “beneath the integrity of the debate?” Impossible. The “integrity of the debate” hit rock-bottom last night with Olbermann goading the Frost family to post photos of their children in their hospital beds after their horrible accident in order to score cheap political points.
Democrat Sen. Barbara Mikulski played Pelosi’s mini-me and piled on Rush Limbaugh. He’s laughing out loud:
I’m not mad. This is parallel universe time like it’s never been. The other side does not want to get it right. This is a great illustration, folks, of what they use the media monopoly for. They have their narratives; they have their templates. The truth is the most inconvenient thing to them. Fiction is what they need to survive, and in order to sell and peddle fiction, you need a monopoly and they don’t have their monopoly anymore, but they’re still peddling their fiction and they don’t understand how it is destroying them and discrediting them — and, for that, ladies and gentlemen, I celebrate, and I say, “I’m happy,” because it’s succeeding.
Indeed. But don’t take it for granted. Call your congressman and make your voice heard.
Capitol switchboard – 202-224-3121.
House Republican Leader John Boehner:
(202) 225-6205 phone
(202) 225-0704 fax
– My column today – Slick S-CHIP sanctimony