Coordinated Deceit

Today’s Arizona Republic is a perfect example of the coordination of Democrat politicians and their allies in the media.  In a top-of-the-fold story in the Valley and State section, reporter Matt Benson writes a heavily-tilted story with the clear intent of promoting the Democrat talking points about their attempt to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Benson sets up the story in the classic “for the children” argument – even getting Gov. Napolitano to say exactly that: “We’re talking about health insurance for children here.”

Then Rep. Mitchell gets to chime in calling the veto “unconscionable” and “Every child should have health insurance.” 

Benson then makes sure to point out that Arizona ranks fourth-worst for its percentage of uninsured children, but makes nary a mention about the huge illegal alien population in the state which drives that number.

Congressman John Shadegg is quoted as saying that the Democrat proposal was “not directed at uninsured poor or nearly poor children.” However, there is no explanation from Benson of why that is.  Conveniently left out of the story are very important facts about the Democrat bill:  it would do nothing about the problem of state’s covering adults – including childless adults (remember, this is the Children’s Health Insurance Program), it covers children in families earning as much as $83,000 per year (not exactly poor, or near poor), and it uses a massive 61-cent-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes to help pay for this expansion.

Tim Bee gets a cameo quote, which was likely a set-up by Benson so that Giffords can try to use it against him in the event he officially runs against her.

The capstone of the deceit in the story comes near the end when Benson writes “Shadegg suggested that the expansion would lead to more people dumping private coverage in favor of government assistance.”  As Benson writes it, it makes it sound like Shadegg pulled that out of thin air – just made it up.  What Benson failed to write was that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office study shows that, under the Democrat proposal, for every child added to the rolls of SCHIP, one child will leave private coverage – a direct one-to-one correlation.

After quoting Shadegg about people leaving private coverage, Benson writes the following line: “Mitchell called that claim a “scare tactic” and “phony argument.””

Hence, Mitchell shows that he is not above deceit in order to follow the Democrat marching orders.  We’ll wait to see the next time Mitchell tries to use analysis from CBO to advance whatever argument he is making – then we can tell him that he is using a “scare tactic” and a “phony argument.”


  1. SonoranSam says

    Sorry to bring ice water to your party again, but the stuff about covering families up to $83,000 is nonsense – smoke and mirrors that Bush & Co. are using to hide their callous disregard for children.

    The State of New York sought approval for coverage up to 400 percent of the federal poverty limit. That WOULD have covered A SMALL NUMBER OF families up to $82,600. But that request was DENIED. No one making $83,000 would be covered by SCHIP.

    I know you’ll ignore my liberal bias. I’d suggest you check the facts, but then someone will just attack the messenger instead of dealing with the truth.

  2. Sam,

    It is very simple. If the Democrats cared for children in the slightest they would have worked with the President to get a bill signed. Continuing the program would be their priority if they cared but they went for the political sound bite instead. Great for ads but does nothing for poor children.

  3. It will when Congress overrides the veto.

  4. Sam,

    Why are you even talking about covering families, the point is to cover children. Currently Schip covers only 90% kids and 10% adults amongst those enrolled. If you want to expand it so bad why not eliminate the 10% of adults and then shift those monies to the kids and keep it revenue neutral?

    Could it be this really is the first move to Government run healthcare?

    Even more curious is why do Democrats want to raise billions in taxes against the poor and uneducated. The AP had a story which said that 33% of smokers are in poverty and the American Heart Association says that 35% of those with no high school education are smokers.

    So Sam, can you explain why we need this massive tax increase on one set of poor people to help another group of poor people and some middle income people as well?

  5. AZ Gnat,

    The proposal which passed included fairly significant compromises requested by Republicans. It passed by very large (veto-proof in the Senate, 18 votes shorty in the House — but there is time to try to overcome that) numbers. The large majority of voters favor the bill.

    The President is on the wrong side of this one, and those who vote against will, deservedly, have it held against them next year.


    In as much as increased cigarette taxes discourage people from smoking, it kills two birds with one stone.

    But heck – if we just don’t pass the Iraq supplemental, we can easily pay for the insurance costs.

  6. “Heavily” is an adverb and as such should not be followed by a hyphen.
    As in: heavily-tilted story
    I find it hard to believe that the Republic is anything but far Right leaning.
    PS — Bush is Toast.

  7. Sirocco,

    Nice way to completely avoid the issue of the adults be compensated on a program for children. We have Medicaid for a reason: adults who need healthcare. Why do you support allowing kids to suffer at the hands of these adults?

  8. TK,

    I would have to do some research, as I am not aware of the exact numbers of adults which would be affected, or the exact amount of money which would be allocated for it.

    However, even using your figures the big O value is the number of children. I.e., the effect of spending on adults is considerably less than the benefit children would receive, and your bringing it up is simply a distraction from the larger value.

  9. TK,

    Did some more reading. I am not averse to the notion of ending the practice of allocating unspent SCHIP funding to cover adults, perhaps placing such instead in an interest-earning account for use in future years.

    However, any such amounts are small in the overall picture, and claiming that the proposed expansion in SCHIP could be made “revenue neutral” by removing this spending is laughable.

  10. Kralmajales says

    This is a hard hard veto to defend folks. The reason is simply that you all have lost your steam on the fiscal conservative anti-government stuff. The administration has spent so much on Iraq and on building a wall, that it just no longer flies to say “that we would like to cover children, but its fiscally irresponsible and should not be the role of government to do it”.

    It looks REALLY bad…really really bad…to say this program is too expensive when this administration is clearly ok with spending enormous sums of money on programs that do very little to help Americans…especially poor Americans.

    What the end result of this message is to Americans is that the President just doesn’t want to spend taxpayer money this way. Period. That is fine, but you won’t find many Americans agreeing with you, Mr. President. If Republicans don’t help over-ride this Veto, I question their morality.

  11. Sirocco,

    I did some clicking and reading and I was incorrect about adult enrollments. I put the figure at 10% based on a newspaper article.

    I googled and found something astounding, that their are actually MORE adults on SCHIP than children in AZ.

    Adults for ’06: 109,738
    Kids for ’06: 96,669

    Thats a difference of 13,069 more adults than kids. Another way to look at it is the total adult enrollee population is nearly the same of the population of Peoria. Thats a lot of people and money.

    Since I am sure you will question this look for yourself:

    So you claim that the benefit would be less, how much less. If AZ gets $850 million for SCHIP and adults make up 53% of enrollees wouldn’t it make sense that adults are getting hundreds of millions intended for kids?

    That’s no distraction, its reality.

  12. Tim, I’m wondering if you’re the same Tim who used to post on Stacy’s AZCongressWatch? If so, I love your source and encourage you to look at their MediCare analysis.

  13. TK,

    What you say is true for AZ (no reason to doubt you, I saw it in my research as well). It’s also true for two other states.

    Nationwide, however, it is manifestly untrue, and I was looking at nationwide data. The bill Bush vetoed was not aimed solely at Arizonans, but at the nation as a whole.

    Nationwide, your reality amounts to a distraction.

  14. Walter, yeah, that’s me. I also go by Tim W. on occasion.

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