Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rehberg's shocking vote on SCHIP

We are shocked, shocked... that Rep. Denny Rehberg voted for the compromise SCHIP bill.

Having commented time and again and even more on this subject, there isn't a lot to say on the substance of the matter.

Democrats in Montana have been sanctimoniously pounding Rehberg over the head on this matter, saying that he doesn't "support kids," when all of his reasons for opposing the House Democrats' version of the bill had nothing to do with kids and everything to do with undermining private insurance plans and expanding a children's health program to insure adults while saying that it is "for the sake of the children."

Rehberg said that he preferred the House Republican version of SCHIP, but also stated that the Senate bill was highly preferable to the House Democrat version.

So why would anyone be shocked that Rehberg voted for this compromise legislation? It lowered the age limit from 21 to 18 -- a major sticking point -- and lowered the income levels to more realistic levels. It also is not being funded by gutting private Medicare programs that benefit so many senior citizens (keeping in mind that those seniors already paid their "premiums" for Medicare decade after decade.)

In short, it pretty much gave Rehberg what he said he wanted. Throw in a little cushion for genuine compromise (something that may be hard for many Montana Democrats to understand, based on the last legislative session,) and it would have been surprising had Rehberg not voted for it.

Given that Congress reportedly stuck unrelated earmarks into the legislation (something they weren't supposed to do,) the President has ample grounds for vetoing it and Congress has ample grounds for sustaining the veto, forcing Congress to start over and make an even cleaner SCHIP bill. We'd like to assume that Democrats are entirely to blame for the earmarks, as this article seems to imply. But given recent GOP history, that isn't a safe assumption, so we'll wait to see what comes out on that.

Had Democrats kept their promises, rather than thwarting Sens. Coburn and DeMint, Rep. Flake, and other champions of real earmark reform, we'd know all about those earmarks well ahead of time.

But that is another story for another time.


Matthew said...

Ahh, I love to hear the crying and whining when republicans get a taste of their own medicine! Rehberg hates kids like Democrats hated America when they didn't vote for warmongering. Nice! And the pendulum swings.

Montana Headlines said...

You picked the wrong conservative blog if you're wanting to take a swing at warmongering Republicans.

Take a gander through the archives.

But thanks for reading.