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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Republicans Rossi and Hastings MIA on Children’s Health Care

posted by on October 27 at 7:51 AM

Check out Thursday’s House vote on expanding children’s health care.

There are a couple of noteworthy things.

1) Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8, Bellevue)—facing a serious Democratic challenger next year— is a ‘Yes’—just as he was last week when he voted to override Bush’s veto. (Reichert voted No on the original expansion bill in August.)

2) Rep. Doc Hastings (R-4, Central Washington) didn’t vote on the bill. He was a ‘No’ on overriding Bush’s veto last week. And he was a ‘No’ on the original vote last August.

Rep. Hastings has been under pressure from Gov. Gregoire to support SCHIP expansion because Washington state’s efforts to cover more kids—an additional 38,500—will be jeopardized without the federal expansion. 11,000 kids in Hastings’s district would be covered if the bill passed.

As I Slogged on Thursday (when gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi wouldn’t tell me where he was on the SCHIP bill):

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.

I should add: About 50 percent of our overall coverage for children comes from the feds.

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Valentino Rossi personally autographed a one-of-a-kind airbrushed Yamaha R1 motorcycle to be sold at auction to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation. He also let his racing leathers (the leathers he actually raced in!) and helmet be sold to benefit Feed the Children.

Would a man who didn't care about children do that? Would he?

Posted by elenchos | October 27, 2007 9:13 AM

Question: If you know - what is the source of that 11,000 estimate for affected children in the 4th CD?

Posted by RonK, Seattle | October 27, 2007 9:42 AM

RonK @2,

That number comes from the Governor's office and DSHS.

Posted by Josh Feit | October 27, 2007 10:13 AM

I know it comes from the G's office ... but who developed it, and on what empirical basis?

Posted by RonK, Seattle | October 27, 2007 10:04 PM

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