balls.jpgBabaloo did a piece for us on CHAMP targeting by conservative interest groups.  And in light of the Southwick problems I just detailed, I thought highlighting a good response to GOP tactics would be helpful.  So I give you Tim Walz’ response:

Last Friday and again on Tuesday, Free Press readers had an opportunity to observe how special interest groups attempt to influence decisions made in Washington.

The so-called Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care and the American Health Care Association ran a full page color ad costing anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 in Friday’s and Tuesday’s editions of The Free Press. These special interests urged constituents to call my office in opposition to a bill that most Americans support, the CHAMP Act.

This legislation provides 11 million children from low-income families with health insurance, corrects overpayments by Medicare to private insurers, expands preventative care coverage and mental health services under Medicare, ensures patient access to physicians, and safeguards high-quality care in rural areas.

Hundreds of non-profit groups and professional organizations supported my vote, including the AARP, Children’s Defense Fund, American Nurses Association, the AFL-CIO, and the American Medical Association. These grassroots and non-profit associations stand in stark contrast to the big businesses that bought the ad.

The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care is an umbrella group of the American Health Care Association, which is made up of companies like the pharmaceutical giant Merck, Credit Suisse, and several of the largest for-profit nursing homes, all of whom make millions of dollars from the Medicare system….

The CHAMP Act froze, but did not cut, funding to skilled nursing facilities in order to allow fair competition with inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Mr. Ormond’s profits will not increase this year as a result of more taxpayer subsidies, but for seniors the availability of high-quality, competitive care will improve.

The best part of this lesson is that our democracy is alive and well. Congress did not fold to pressure from multi-million dollar conglomerates that falsely claim that the CHAMP Act is taking away from Medicare and from seniors. For too long, these private insurance companies and big nursing home chains have reaped the benefits of Medicare overpayments, and when I voted for the CHAMP Act, I voted for legislation that will help the most vulnerable of our community: our low-income children and seniors.

The people of the First District don’t have to buy expensive and deceptive ads. They don’t have to hire expensive lobbyists. People in southern Minnesota can be confident that I have and will continue to cast votes that are in the interest of our children and seniors, no matter how many full page, color ads costing thousands of dollars the special interest groups can buy.

Good pushback: clear, decisive, immediate, fact based and hits voters where it matters — in the gut and the heart. This takes the fight directly where it ought to go — to the profit motives of the asshats who bought these ads in the first place, and throws it right back at them.  “I’ll see your ad buy, and raise you the truth about why you are so worried and an extra chip for your greediness.”  Tactically, this is exactly what was needed, an immediate, hard-hitting, take the fight to their doorstep response.  More like this please.

(Why yes, that is a photo of some balls via tifotter.  Why do you ask?)

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com