A heartwarming press release was posted on Mr. Rogers' website, in which he assures us that his opposition to the S-CHIP bill on Tuesday was a result of the nasty Democrats messing around with an otherwise swell bill. As evidence of this, Mr. Rogers trotted out the Bush talking points almost word for word. Apparently, those Blue Meanies were going to:
A brief aside: Mr. Rogers has been receiving taxpayer-funded paychecks for the past couple of decades -- and very nice taxpayer-funded health insurance coverage to boot! As a result, he really has no idea of what health insurance costs an average family (especially if they have to buy an individual policy)...
-- make "massive" cuts to Medicare benefits (Though he neglects to mention that the cuts will come from payments to insurance companies, not coverage for seniors.)
-- give taxpayer-funded health care to families making up to $83,000 per year (Nope. Roughly 70 percent of children who would gain coverage are in families earning half that amount, and the bill contains no requirement for setting income eligibility caps any higher than what already exists in the current law. For details, visit FactCheck.org.)
-- and provide taxpayer-funded health care for illegal aliens (This provision was not part of Tuesday’s version of the bill. In fact, the bill didn't even include benefits for children of LEGAL immigrants. The WaPo reports that House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) will push Democrats to come back at Bush with a new version that restores those benefits.)
Mr. Rogers said that he voted against this hideously flawed bill on Tuesday. He went on to say that he voted for the bill to extend S-CHIP funding on Wednesday... but the bill had passed 265-159 on Tuesday night and went over to the Senate the next day.
Perhaps he stood alone in a darkened room on Wednesday, recognized himself, introduced a bill to himself and voted for said bill. At least he feels better about it.
The other interesting thing is that the Freep’s coverage of the subject has changed quite a bit. The original story by Todd Spangler came out early Tuesday evening (I got the Google news alert at 5:37 p.m.). The piece was titled Mich. congressman balks at children's insurance legislation, and it included this line:
Mike Rogers, a Brighton Republican, failed in his effort to block the
legislation, at least temporarily, by noting another improper earmark – this one
for ...See all stories on this topic
The next day, the story had a new title: Congress debates whether Michigan is getting a break in children’s insurance bill and Mike Rogers was mentioned zero times, as was the improper earmark.
Rogers certainly isn't shy about his opposition to earmarks -- just ask Rep. Murtha! So why isn't Rogers sticking to his original beef? Maybe he did the math and realized that
Nice Guy Image -
NO on (vaccines for low-income kids + $$ for MI health care) =
When I contacted the Freep reporter to ask about the change, he noted that the story had indeed shifted to focus on the $1.2 billion earmark for Michigan. They didn't return to the Rogers angle because they chose not to write a story for the next day's paper. Now this does happen, especially with web versions of newspapers. But it still was a bit galling to see Rogers completely off the hook and out of the story.
Just for fun, let's review the long list of crazy knee-jerk liberal types who have publicly supported this bill. Ready?
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), business interests, the Catholic church, the health insurance industry, children's advocates, most of the nation's governors, the AARP and the American Medical Association.
With a weaselly flip-flop on the reason for his "no" vote and his bogus claim of voting in favor of some mysterious other children's health care bill, Mr. Rogers once again has shown that he places loyalty to George Bush over serving the people of MI-08.