Monday, October 15, 2007

SCHIP Spin of the Day

I've always felt that Representative Scott Garrett's press people must have among the hardest jobs in Washington. Constantly having to defend positions that fly in the face of the people you're supposed to be representing must grate on people. Here's the latest example, from the Ocean County Observer, regarding Garrett's intention to uphold the President's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program:
"The congressman has been hearing from people on both sides of the debate. He has weighed their arguments carefully and continues to believe that the Democrats' multi billion expansion of SCHIP is not in the best interest of the people of New Jersey," Garrett's spokeswoman, Mary MacLean, said in an e-mail Friday.

The New York Times recently pointed out that 11,000 New Jersey children will lose their health insurance if President Bush has his way. How is that in the best interest of New Jersey?

Did Garrett bother to weigh the cost of preventable illness coming into the classroom, workplace, and then other people's home? We're talking about 11,000 kids losing the basic coverage for flu shots and other vaccines. Are we as a state really better off with 11,000 fewer children being able to see a doctor? What about the lost work productivity of parents either worrying or missing work because of sick kids? Is that in the best interest of NJ?

And also, the supporters of SCHIP are not just the Democrats. This from the Livingston Daily sums it up very well:
SCHIP isn't a "Democratic" plan. It has strong bipartisan support. Very few programs can get Republicans such as Senators Pat Roberts, Charles Grassley and Orrin Hatch to agree with Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi! SCHIP also has the support of the health insurance industry, the Catholic Church, business interests, the AARP and the American Medical Association.

Nearly 40% Senate Republicans and roughly 25% House Republicans voted for the Bill.

I've already pointed out how Garrett fabricated the majority of his initial arguments against SCHIP. Garrett has yet to give an honest reason why he's voting against the bill. Every time Garrett introduces a new rationale, it gets shot down and he changes reasons. The one constant is that Garrett says he sees SCHIP as a new entitlement.

Well, that either makes Garrett disingenuous or he's really ignorant. As a Representative, Garrett should know entitlements are guaranteed no matter what; and that's not the case with SCHIP. It's a block grant program with qualifying criteria, people can be denied. If Garrett doesn't know that, someone on his staff might want to mention it to him so he stops embarrassing himself.

I know the chance of Garrett switching his vote on SCHIP is about as good a chance as that of an ice cube having a long life in Hell. He's proven several times recently that he will vote against the people of NJ when it conflicts with his ideology. That's Garrett, and as long as voters put up with it is as long as it will happen.


Jill said...

So when are you going to announce YOUR run already? I have yet to see anyone on the Democratic side at any level point out that when children can't get health care, it puts those children who can at risk as well. Too many people think SCHIP is "someone else's program." This drives it home nicely. Good work. Let's see if anyone picks it up. If not, you'll have to throw your hat into the ring. :)

rmfretz said...

Appreciate the thought. So far, I haven't seen a soul use it ;)