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Thursday, October 25, 2007

“I’m Not in Congress.” —Dino Rossi on Children’s Health Care

posted by on October 25 at 15:00 PM

So, as I Slogged a bit earlier, when I asked Dino Rossi—who had just finished slamming Gov. Gregoire for not doing enough about health care costs—if he thought Congress should override President Bush’s veto of expanded health care coverage for poor kids (SCHIP), he told me, “I’m not in Congress.”

I pushed for an answer (which I didn’t get) by pointing out that the state legislature (at Gov. Christine Gregoire’s insistence) passed a bipartisan bill in Olympia last year that expanded children’s health coverage by $64 million over two years—adding 38,500 children to state Medicaid coverage. If the SCHIP bill at the federal level goes down, the state’s expanded coverage for children would be jeopardized.

The bill raised the eligibility standard from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 250 percent (and 300 percent by 2009). For a family of three, 300 percent of the federal poverty level is $51,500.

This expansion—covering 604,000 children in total at an overall cost of $1.6 billion over two years—is partly dependent on the SCHIP bill at the federal level, which would bring in about $90 million over two years according to the State Dept. of Social and Human Services.

So, a vote to override Bush’s veto would save a bipartisan bill passed in Olympia last year by sending $90 million our way. Even GOP Rep. Dave Reichert voted to override. You’d think someone who’s running for governor would have an opinion about $90 million in aid for children’s health care.

RSS icon Comments

1

I'll get an answer outta him. You'll see. You'll see.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 25, 2007 3:03 PM
2

Rossi is personally responsible for many thousands of kids being dropped off health care in Washington state - due to the budget that he wrote back in 2002 or 2003 - he has no leg to stand on on the issue of children's health care.

Posted by Willis | October 25, 2007 3:04 PM
3

He will be beat like a gong.

Too bad Gregoire didn't turn out to be a total incompetent--that would be Rossi's only chance.

Posted by Westside forever | October 25, 2007 3:13 PM
4

I still get, at my City of Seattle workplace phone, after I have repeatedly asked them to stop, Dino Rossi solicitations. Stupid, untruthful, prerecorded inanities about how awful Christine Gregoire has been, all delivered by the bitchiest sounding woman in the entire universe. They started well before Dino announced his candidacy. Can't I sue or something?

Posted by catalina vel-duray | October 25, 2007 3:18 PM
5

@2: Rossi built his budget from then-Gov. Gary Locke. Rossi didn't do anything by himself, Locke did most of of the work for him.

Posted by ahava | October 25, 2007 3:21 PM
6

It's above his paygrade.

And his capability.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 25, 2007 3:46 PM
7

This is all Rossi has - pretending he has no opinions that would offend anyone (i.e. his actual Republican right-wing opinions) in the hopes that some disgruntled people will vote for him.

He was largely successful in the past election cycle at pretending he wasn't a Republican. Let's see if he can be as lucky this time around.

I doubt it.

Posted by jcricket | October 25, 2007 3:51 PM
8

A lot of Dems didn't vote for Gregoire because they thought she'd be the second coming of Gary Locke and that Rossi was harmless and/or wouldn't win.

No Democrat is going to think either of those things this time around. Gregoire wins 53-45.

Posted by Aexia | October 25, 2007 4:11 PM
9

Josh,
Nobody cares about your preening stories about how you stand up to people. We've read your tales many times.

How about a question for Democrats who got control of Congress: just what happened to the plan to stop the war?

You could ask Hillary, but she's not taking questions from you or anybody in the media.

Posted by Just asking, short guy! | October 25, 2007 4:35 PM
10

Didn't Mike! adopt this same hypothetical-question-avoidance strategy last year? Look where that got him. When are republicans going to learn that it makes you look like less a leader and more an asshole when you do this?

Posted by laterite | October 25, 2007 4:40 PM
11

@9 - last time I checked it seemed the deadender GOP Senators and House reps were voting against it. So if we're looking to cast blame ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 25, 2007 4:41 PM
12

If I were a reporter, I'd carry a baseball bat. If a politician refused to answer a question, saying it was "hypothetical," I would then take out their right knee with the bat, before asking, "Hypothetically, would you object to me breaking your left knee?"

Posted by Gitai | October 25, 2007 4:57 PM
13

Gitai, you are so hired!

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 25, 2007 5:00 PM
14

It's Dept. of Social & Health Services, not Human Services.

Rossi comes off as all meringue and no pie. Not only is he going to have to convince people she's doing a bad job, but that he - a republican under the shadow of the era of Bush Incompetence - can do better. He'll go down in flames. And good riddance.

Posted by mike in oly | October 25, 2007 6:38 PM
15

I still think Gregoire looks like Skeletor.

Posted by BillyBob | October 25, 2007 6:49 PM
16

This article is written as if the $90M would come from somewhere outside the state. It wouldn't. Washington is a net contributor to federal budget, so increases in federal spending are, from a cash flow perspective, a bad deal for Washington.

Posted by David Wright | October 25, 2007 9:45 PM
17

Rossi has very little chance. He drew nearly a tie last time around, running for an open seat in the governor's mansion, in a year when Republicans were still winning everything. This time around, he'll be running against an incumbent who has been slowly growing in popularity throughout her entire first 4 years. In a year when George "24%" Bush and an unpopular war will be dragging down all Republicans, good or bad. He has a long uphill battle if he thinks he can unseat Gregoire this time.

Posted by SDA in SEA | October 25, 2007 10:10 PM
18

Rossi is running way to the right, while trying to hide it. I appreciate your persistence here, Josh. I'm guessing he doesn't want to upset his base, and most of the families affected by SCHIP wouldn't vote for him, anyway.

The other thing that will be interesting is to see what parts of the business community supports whom. The Wal-Marts of the state will support Rossi, as he's for low-taxes and a low-quality of life. High-value sectors such as Life Sciences (whom Rossi wrote off in 2004 with his opposition of stem-cell research) want more skilled graduates and are willing to pay higher taxes for it. These industries, in large part, will support Gregoire.

Unless Gregoire runs a "prevent defense" campaign again, which I seriously doubt, she will crush Rossi in 2008.

Posted by Ebenezer | October 25, 2007 10:29 PM
19

Just wait until he's given a DUI.

He sure looks like a drunk.
He talks like a drunk.

DUI is in the cards for Rossi.

Posted by old timer | October 26, 2007 8:16 AM
20

old timer - Rossi doesn't drink (he's like all the other buttoned-up Sammamish folks who are into CRAZY things like spending their time watching their kids' sporting events, getting up early for religious services on the weekends, and sipping pop instead of alcoholic drinks).

Keep trying, though. If you make up enough stuff about Dino Rossi, something somewhere is bound to get past people like me who will set the record straight with the truth.

About the question that he chose not to answer to the reporter's liking...Frustrating, isn't it, when libs are unable to get an independent thinking guy like Rossi all tied in with all the myths being nursed about the Bush Administration? Judge Dino Rossi for his own record and beliefs. He isn't in Congress - he is running for Governor of Washington State. His opinions on things which are outside of his decision-making arena are irrelevant.

Posted by reality check | October 26, 2007 2:25 PM
21

Another reality check (sorry, guys): Rossi and Gregoire are currently at a statistical tie. It is supposed to be pretty difficult to unseat an incumbent, and Rossi is just getting started.

If I were Christine Gregoire's campaign people, I would be pretty worried.

Posted by reality check | October 26, 2007 2:30 PM

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