Pass along a news tip by clicking HERE.

Monday, October 15, 2007

OH-02 Dem Steve Black: Calls On Mean Jean To Be Keen Jean On SCHIP

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Democrat Steve Black, who is seeking the OH-02 nomination, sends an open letter to Republican U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt urging her to change course and vote to override President Bush's SCHIP veto later this week. Black says she can redeem herself from an earlier vote to "gut this incredibly effective bipartisan program."

Black has to get past another Democrat -- physician and '06 Dem nominee Vic Wulsin. His move today is good politics; the children's health insurance is popular, and he has seized upon her opposition as an opportunity to revive the Mean Jean image that has dogged Schmidt since her days as a state legislator. Black doesn't come right out and call her Mean Jean, but he paints her opposition to SCHIP as near heartless.

Read on for the full-text of Black's letter to Schmidt:

October 15, 2007
U.S. Representative Jean Schmidt
238 Cannon House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515

Dear Rep. Schmidt:

I am writing to ask that you vote to override the President's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization legislation. Although your "no" vote on this legislation sadly speaks for itself, I am sure the voters of the 2d District would like to hear the reasoning behind your vote to gut this incredibly effective, bipartisan program that promotes the health and well-being of America's children.

As you must know, the SCHIP reauthorization has had bipartisan support within Congress and from others, including the National Governors Association, the AARP, faith based groups, and numerous medical/health provider associations. If you studied the issue, you must also know that 80% of our uninsured are working families; the number of uninsured children skyrocketed by 710,000 last year alone; and ever fewer employers are insuring their workers and their families. And, finally, as you should know, uninsured children are 4 times likely to use expensive emergency room care than insured children, and are 2 ½ times more likely to go without care for an illness than insured children – a financial and social cost to us all. SCHIP has been a safety net for families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but too low to afford private coverage. Since SCHIP began, the number of uninsured children has dropped significantly, with SCHIP currently enrolling 6.6 million children.

President Bush's target of allocating a $5 billion increase to SCHIP over the next five years will cut funding for approximately 21% of children currently enrolled. His veto, if allowed to stand, will also dash the hopes of millions more currently uninsured lower to lower middle income children who would be helped by the $35 billion SCHIP reauthorization, responsibly paid by for an increased cigarette tax. President Bush wrongly portrayed SCHIP as government run amok, a program that would deprive Americans of "choice and competition that comes from the private market."

Rep. Schmidt, there is NO choice available for millions of Americans who are excluded from the private market due to exorbitant premiums and insurers who "cherry pick" only the healthy. If the private market could have fixed this problem, wouldn't it have done so by now? Why did you reject this long-term investment in America's and Ohio's children? Healthy children learn better in school. Healthy children are more likely to be productive citizens. Healthy children should be America's priority. It is a priority of mine. You should make it yours. I ask you to put aside partisan politics and vote to override the President's veto.

Sincerely, Steve Black


  1. The GOP has been doing this sort of things for years, but Steve Black, a life-long Republican, has just found it unacceptable. Since when did a lifelong Republican, in the year after his conversion, earn the right to be a Democrat electable to Congress?

    His primary opponent, Vic Wulsin, has shown her compassion over a life-long career of public service. Her near victory over Jean Schmidt, and her long-demonstrated committment to things Democrats care about have earned her the nomination.

  2. Hi Anon 6:45 pm --

    C'mon, people switch parties. Jim Webb the senator from Virginia was a Republican until he couldn't stand their policies any longer. Nancy Boyda of Kansas was a Republican, now she is an anti-war Democrat in the U.S. House. Democrats ought to be happy to see Republicans joining their ranks. it means they have momentum, they have issues, they have a philosophy and ideology that can turn some foes into advocates and supporters. That does not mean Black should be handed the nomination.

  3. Question: If Jean Schmidt were to vote for this multi-billion dollar boondoggle, would OH-02 Democrats back off? Would they give "Mean" Jean any credit for running up the tax bill of the very same kids that the SCHIP expansion is supposed to "help"?

    Or is all of this nothing more than yet another political stunt?

    I think we all know the answers...

  4. Hi Matt --

    You know, I think the anti-SCHIP vote might help her in a Republican primary. I cannot see how it will help her in a general, where she will be painted as Mean Jean and the SCHIP vote will be cited as rock solid proof. There is bipartisan support for SCHIP, Matt. This is serious politics, not a side issue like MoveOn or Rush and resolutions criticizing what they said. This seems more mashed potatoes and gravy and resonates with the public.

  5. It resonates because it appeals to America's desire for "something for nothing." There are reasons why it is cliche to say that there is no such thing as a free lunch, yet Democrats keep on trying...and Americans keep on buying the "free" lunch.

    The problem with SCHIP expansion is that, as usual, the American people aren't getting the information about what this program's effects really are. The media has deliberately been negligent and the Democrats pushing this fiscal nightmare have been downright dishonest about characterizing the debate as being The Meanies versus The Children.

    At some point, using The Children will have about the same effect on credibility that the MSM has on most any other issue...

  6. Hi Matt --

    I don't understand or accept your "credibility" point. People get this in their gut. They understand what they want their tax money to be used for, the purpose. Matt, I respect you a lot as a thinking and thougtful conservative, but on this particular issue I don't agree at all that the American people are stupid, or can be fooled, or misled. I think they clearly sense and understand that SCHIP is the kind of government program they favor, they supprt, they want their hard-earned money to go into. Sorry that it may not fit your ideology, or view of what the government should do. But we are stuck with that whole democratic ideal of: We The People I say that with all understanding that being conservative is not necessarily being irresponsible or cold-hearted. However, SCHIP is popular and a proper use government dollars.