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They’ve already lost. They just don’t know it.
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I received the following email today from those heartless right-wingers at National Center for Public Policy Research. It seems that they're upset about SCHIP, too.

But, maybe not in the way that you'd think.
As the U.S. House of Representatives votes today in what the Democratic leadership hopes will be a successful override of President Bush's veto of its SCHIP expansion bill, The National Center for Public Policy Research wants to know: What does the Democratic leadership have against choice?

"Buried in the leadership's SCHIP expansion bill is a provision restricting the choices of SCHIP recipients," said Amy Ridenour, president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. "Through a part of SCHIP called 'premium assistance,' SCHIP helps recipients pay for health insurance coverage offered by their employers — but under the Democrat bill, it won't do so if the employer's plan includes either flexible spending accounts or medical savings accounts. If it does, if the Democrats get their way, SCHIP won't subsidize the insurance."
So, that's the ground they've chosen to die on. SCHIP must be allowed to subsidize MSAs and the like.

No complaints about a massive expansion of the program. In effect, it's a complaint that the program doesn't go far enough, so that it covers their preferred health care reform, too.

First, this is just silly. You will never, ever win against the Democrats by claiming that they're too stingy with the people's money, or that their benefit programs aren't far-reaching enough. Quite apart from the fact that no one will really believe you, the simple response is that the Democrats actually want to dole out "free" government health care to everybody, and it's the Republicans that are opposed to it. So, this email embodies a stupid tactic.

Second, I look at this stuff, and I think, "The battle's over. We will never stop the expansion of government." Even "conservatives" can no longer find it in themselves to offer up a principled stand against an expansion of SCHIP.

It'd be easier on everyone if we just bypassed the next fifteen years, and proceeded directly to mailing in 90% of our paychecks to the government, and simply be done with it.

The remaining 10%, of course, we can keep, and use to blow on hats, or whatever other little trinkets we've decided to trade in our liberty for.
 
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The Democrats have never really like flexible spending accounts or medical savings accounts. Their introduction, as I recall, was on a trial basis.
Part of the exclusion may make some sense since the flexible spending accounts or medical savings accounts create "private accounts" with money "pooled" for future periods of excessively bad health. Government programs are always on a "for the moment" basis, so any private pooling would most definitely be verboten.
On the other hand, SCHIP could be used as an excuse to force employers to drop flexible spending accounts or medical savings accounts so their employees could opt into SCHIP.

Personally, I had an MSA last year, 2006. The administrator of the program made it so hard to have anything reimbursed that all the money I put into it is still sitting in a dormant account.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
The thing is, if someone wants lifetime government healthcare they can already get it.

Agree to serve your country for a period of 4-6 years, enter with "conscienous objector" status if you don’t want to risk a war zone. You will be paid on time and will have your room and board for that entire period. At the end of your successful service you are guaranteed coverage for the remainder of your life.

But here’s the catch you have to use the Veteran’s medical system... want an idea of what government run healthcare for the entire country will become - go to a veteran’s hospital - there is a reason they are the healthcare option of last resort... most veterans opt for employment and coverage that they can pay for rather then just rely on the government - use common sense and do the math - you don’t want the government to control ALL healthcare.
 
Written By: BillS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com/
"The remaining 10%, of course, we can keep, and use to blow on hats, or whatever other little trinkets we’ve decided to trade in our liberty for."

Well, as long as it is spent on a hat from the approved list of hats, sure.

 
Written By: Steven L.
URL: http://
It’s good to see that you’re not bitter about it, Dale.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
"No complaints about a massive expansion of the program"? "Even ’conservatives’ can no longer find it in themselves to offer up a principled stand against an expansion of SCHIP."

I take it you did not familarize yourself with our body of work on SCHIP, and simply assumed we hadn’t said the things you are condemning us for not saying.

Take a look at these sometime:

SCHIP Expansion: Socialized Medicine on the Installment Plan

Should Most of America’s Kids Be on the Dole?

The SCHIP/Frost Affair Continues; Paul Krugman Calls Me a Busybody

SCHIP, Graeme Frost, and the Bloggers

Socialized Medicine by Stealth: Panel Calls SCHIP Expansion ’Bad for Kids, Families, and Taxpayers’

It’s Socialized Medicine, All Right, And We Don’t Want It

Congress’ SCHIP Deception

SCHIP Expansion in Perspective

An SCHIP Fraud? Boy Who Delivered Democrat SCHIP Rebuttal May Not Be Low-Income

Reverse Robin Hood: Congress’ Regressive SCHIP Expansion Would Tax Poor to Fund Health Insurance for Middle and Upper-Middle Class

And there’s our SCHIP website, which contains nothing except principled stands against an expansion of SCHIP (except the poll, which had a ’no expansion’ result until DailyKos and Democratic Underground told their followers to go vote in it).

The argument in our press release is that despite the Democratic leadership’s claim that its members respect families like the Frosts, they really don’t trust them at all. That’s a far cry from "claiming that they’re too stingy with the people’s money, or that their benefit programs aren’t far-reaching enough."

By the way, taking FSA and MSA options out of SCHIP wouldn’t save taxpayers’ money. Recipients who want these options wouldn’t be thrown off the dole. They’s just get a more government-laden, and quite likely more expensive to the taxpayers, form of welfare.
 
Written By: Amy Ridenour
URL: http://www.nationalcenter.org/Blog.html
Well, Dale thinks that the middle of the country is going to secede from the union, so of course he’s cranky. I gotta say, I laughed out loud at that part of last week’s show :)

DALE RESPONDS: Yeah. I’m sure you did. Because if anyone is familiar with the frustrations that middle America is feeling, it’s you. After all, it simply couldn’t happen. There’s just no interest in that sort of thing.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
hey Oliver!
whassup?
slummin’ today?
 
Written By: mario
URL: http://
The republicans made a big mistake holding up that family has an example of why the SCHIP program doesn’t work. The reality (and it’s an arguement for not expanding the role of big government in our lives) is that any program will invite abuse but we don’t just get rid of the program as a result. We set up systems to weed out the abuse. There’s an interesting video running on YouTube called ’The Raymond Report’. You can search for it or go to their website: theraymondreport.com

The guy is a health insurance veteran that is offering his services as a consumer watchdog and he does make some interesting points about what has gone wrong with health insurance. I’d be curious as to what people think.
 
Written By: Michael Samuels
URL: http://
Emphasis added:
"...nothing except principled stands against an expansion of SCHIP..."
The Russian Rage once famously asked "What is it that the conservatives are seeking to ’conserve’?"

I think I get the picture.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Well, Dale thinks that the middle of the country is going to secede from the union..."
If only. It would be nice to leave the liberal dead weight of the coasts behind. Toss out Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois too.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
The remaining 10%, of course, we can keep, and use to blow on hats, or whatever other little trinkets we’ve decided to trade in our liberty for
Until they need it to fight global warming...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
But here’s the catch you have to use the Veteran’s medical system... want an idea of what government run healthcare for the entire country will become - go to a veteran’s hospital - there is a reason they are the healthcare option of last resort... most veterans opt for employment and coverage that they can pay for rather then just rely on the government - use common sense and do the math - you don’t want the government to control ALL healthcare.
In the VA’s defense, their stuff in central IL is apparently top notch.

And as for tossing out Illinois... You better send a truck to get my stuff. I am not staying here when you guys go...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
While on the subject of choice, I can’t help but ask why some people think government should allow individual’s to make a choices regarding abortion but are prepared to turn the rest of medicine/healthcare over to the government?
 
Written By: Kris Gerber
URL: http://
Good question Kris, my gut tells me that once universal health care gets here there will be more abortions. Only the perfect ones get out.

Didn’t you guys forget Michigan?
 
Written By: tonto
URL: http://
Good question Kris, my gut tells me that once universal health care gets here there will be more abortions. Only the perfect ones get out.

Didn’t you guys forget Michigan?
I’m not so sure. If there was universal healthcare, can you think of an issue that would get conservatives and fundamentals more fired up that the govt performing abortions?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
The players in the SCHIP debate have all the characteristics of Senator Greg "I have had a vision that I am going to be President of the United States someday. And nobody, and I mean *nobody* is going to stop me!" Stillson in the 1983 movie, The Dead Zone. Right down to holding up the child to protect themselves.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Override failed - boooo freaking hooooo.
Pete Stark provided the necessary entertainment factor.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
They’ve already lost.....guess today was a temporary win.

Veto stands.

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi (11%) fail against Bush.....

A
G
A
I
N

It really is to laugh...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Pete Stark provided the necessary entertainment factor
I just saw that....what an odious creep.

Lets hope the GOP can ram a censure motion down the Dems throats on this one.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
If only. It would be nice to leave the liberal dead weight of the coasts behind. Toss out Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois too.
Clearly, you’ve never heard of "foreign aid"
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Well, since it will now forever be part of the public record, it should be interesting to see how the usual crowd tries to spin Stark’s words to mean something else.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I take it you did not familarize yourself with our body of work on SCHIP, and simply assumed we hadn’t said the things you are condemning us for not saying.
Yep. That’s right. Because I didn’t receive those emails. The email I did get was a complaint that SCHIP expansion wouldn’t cover your pet health care reform.

So, that seem to be the message you guys have decided is important to get out.

You made that choice, Amy. Not me.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Sorry, Dale, won’t wash. It’s not accurate to say an institution hasn’t said something if it has said it, repeatedly. Research is the responsibility of the person who writes a piece, not of its subject. The research would have been especially easy in this case: All you needed to do was spend about thirty seconds on our home page.

This reminds me of what Mary Mapes and Dan Rather did in Rathergate. They ran with a thesis they liked. They let their reporting represent what they wanted to be true rather than what was true. And when the facts came out, they were too stubborn to admit their mistakes.

P.S. I checked our records. Turns out that we sent you two other emails in the last month along about SCHIP, this one and this one. The email software program’s records show you didn’t open either one.
 
Written By: Amy Ridenour
URL: http://www.nationalcenter.org/Blog.html
Yeah Amy, and my guess is you haven’t read this, this, this, this, this, and this from QandO.

So let’s call it even, ok?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I don’t know why you guess that, since I read QandO often. I had already read most of those before you asked me to, since SCHIP is an interest of mine and I have written about the Frost family on my own blog. (I particularly liked this post you wrote; I assume you saw Halsey Frost tell Keith Olbermann that he didn’t think he should be "punished" for his "sweat equity" in his house. Unbelievable! To him, punished=pay his own bills.) Still, on the matter at hand, it is irrelevant whether I read your SCHIP posts and Jon’s. It’s not like I’ve written anything claiming you believe the Democrats are too stingy with the people’s money, or saying you have never opposed the expansion of SCHIP, without first seeing if these claims are true.

Still, I don’t want to go on with this debate forever. We don’t favor expanding SCHIP. We don’t even favor SCHIP. I didn’t even know we had a "pet health care reform," as Dale said. But at the end of the day that’s still going to be true, regardless of what this blog says, and regardless of whether the bulk of what is posted on this blog is good stuff. I intervened because I don’t being portrayed as a big spender, but now I’ve made my case.
 
Written By: Amy Ridenour
URL: http://www.nationalcenter.org/Blog.html
I don’t know why you guess that, since I read QandO often ... but now I’ve made my case.
I said it to suggest that you’d made your point, Dale had made his and perhaps it’s best left at that. And thanks for reading the blog.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Research is the responsibility of the person who writes a piece, not of its subject.
QFT.
 
Written By: Shad
URL: http://
I’m pretty sure the subject was an email received and nothing more. The rebuttal has been given. The disagreement noted.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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