Monday, October 22, 2007

Garrett Has Thrown The Kitchen Sink

In his response to Alfred Doblin's column on Friday, Representative Scott Garrett released an Op-Ed today that continues his efforts to misinform voters about his position on SCHIP. Once again, let's go argument by argument:
No child, not one, will be kicked off of SCHIP or will be denied its health benefits because I voted with my colleagues to reject the program's massive and misguided expansion.

Well, the State of New Jersey has identified 11,000 children at risk of losing their coverage due to President Bush's plan for SCHIP, which Garrett voted to uphold.
First of all, my colleagues and I voted to extend the program through November 16th. And, if Congress fails again to negotiate a good faith reauthorization, I willvote again to extend the current program. In fact, I've even cosponsored a bill that extends SCHIP for 18 months

This is true. What is also true is that the current program required an emergency supplemental bill, which Garrett voted against, to deal with funding shortfalls.
Regrettably, up to now, the Democrat majority has done everything it can to get the reauthorization passed their way

Garrett is once again ignoring the broad coalition of bi-partisan support that helped not only craft this bill but called on him to change his position.
It's important to note that the Democrats' SCHIP proposal ends the program completely in five years.

Garrett's being disingenuous on this one. It's being reauthorized within the standard time frame, not eliminated. It was actually a six year re- authorization Garrett was calling for when arguing against the Voting Rights Act being renewed.
It is equally important to note that a number of independent studies conclude that their proposal would force people out of private insurance and into the government-run program.

As pointed out earlier, Garrett used to attribute this statement to the Congressional Budget Office. No such study exists, so in a sense it's good he stopped doing that. However, considering Garrett's track record of making up sources, or quoting dubious ones, I find it hard to believe he's referring to anything credible along these lines existing. If someone knows of one, send me the link.
The rejected SCHIP proposal was a massive expansion of federal healthcare entitlements.

Once again, this is a block grant program, where people can and are rejected.
In the end, it will actually saddle these very children with debt. Or, if the 61-cent tobacco tax is to cover the costs, will require that 22.4 million of them start smoking in the next ten years.

Wait, I thought he said it was ending in five years? Also, the CBO shows a funding surplus in 10 years.
The SCHIP bill contained "hospital pork" and other earmarks set to help specific Congressmen bring home the bacon to their districts.

This I actually have to look up. If by hospital pork he's referring to the Section 508 funding Garrett said our District desperately needed, well he's either for it or against it.
Still more would have been diverted from the children to make it easier for illegal aliens and some adults to access SCHIP benefits.

Ok, we've already dealt with this.
Worst of all,this legislation failed to address the real problems with access to healthcare and instead just turned to the same old addictive tax-and-spend mentality.

At this point Garrett goes into a long effort to distract people from the actual bill, proving Dolbin's point that he's putting ideology above the very real concerns regarding children covered by this program. Garrett points to the types of bills the Democrats haven't brought to the floor in an effort to invalidate the SCHIP reforms they have. In an effort to justify this stance, he puts out this comment:
The mentality is cover the children now, we'll figure out how to pay for it later. Regrettably, that's the same mentality that now saddles our children with mind-boggling debt related to Social Security,Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs. They all start with the best of intentions, but fail to see how far down the road those good intentions turn sour.

This is probably the most desperate of moves, which also neglects to mention several facts. Garrett voted for all of the Republican budgets that borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars from the Social Security Trust, putting the program at risk (FY 2004, FY 2005, FY 2006, FY 2007).

Garrett also defended, as part of his original opposition to SCHIP, the practice of paying more to private companies than traditional fee for service programs. The CBO highlighted how this very practice puts Medicare at risk.

With the anger over the vote to uphold the President's veto of SCHIP not subsiding, Garrett is pulling out all of the stops. Unfortunately, the arguments may have changed but their root dishonesty has not.

1 comment:

Nick Lento said...

Good Stuff! Thanks!