Democratic Ad Campaign Urges Support for Kids’ Health Insurance Bill
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday launched a radio advertisement and automated telephone campaign in the districts of five Republican House members to criticize their votes against legislation that would expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the Washington Times reports.
The radio ad campaign targets Reps. Jim Saxton (N.J.), Bill Young (Fla.), Vern Buchanan (Fla.) and Tom Feeney (Fla.), and the automated telephone campaign targets Rep. Richard Baker (La.) (Lengell, Washington Times, 8/15).
The House SCHIP bill (HR 3162) would reduce payments to Medicare Advantage plans and increase the federal cigarette tax by 45 cents per pack to increase funding for SCHIP by about $50 billion over five years. The bill also would make a number of revisions to Medicare. The Senate version of the bill would reauthorize SCHIP and increase the federal cigarette tax by 61 cents per pack to boost funding for the program by $35 billion over five years. President Bush has said he would veto the measures. Bush has proposed a $5 billion increase over five years for SCHIP, which would raise the program's total five-year funding to $30 billion, and said he would veto the House and Senate versions (California Healthline, 8/9).
DCCC Chair Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) said, "This August we're going district by district to urge Republicans to stop obstructing progress," adding, "Republicans who continue to vote in lock step with President Bush and against children and seniors in their districts will be held accountable."
The National Republican Congressional Committee said that the DRCC campaign will work against House Democrats because many voters in the targeted districts oppose SCHIP expansion.
NRCC spokesperson Ken Spain said, "We are more than happy to have the SCHIP debate," adding, "Because of the Democrats' votes (for SCHIP), they are supporting cuts to Medicare and taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants." NRCC last week launched a radio ad campaign in the district of Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio) criticizing his support for the SCHIP bill (Washington Times, 8/15).