The Service Employees International Union launched an ad yesterday taking Sen. Lincoln to task on her “no” vote for the “fixes” package sent from the House to the Senate following passage of the Senate’s HCR bill.
In response, Friends of Blanche Lincoln posted a rebuttal to the ad. Here’s the thing, though — the FoBL rebuttal does not address, even a little, the fact that the ad was referring to the “fixes” package rather than the original bill. Worse, it goes so far as to imply that the woman in the ad is somehow being dishonest:
Nancy Shaw one of Many Arkansans Who Praised Senator Lincoln’s Support of Health Care Reform
Nancy Shaw Thanked Sen. Lincoln For Voting For Health Care Reform. In December 2009, Nancy Shaw was featured in a press release praising Senator Lincoln’s support for the health care overhaul bill. She said, “I have a daughter with Down syndrome and I’m self employed. I can’t get her health insurance, so I think health care reform will help us… “[Lincoln’s vote] really says she’s paying attention to the people that voted for her. The fact that she voted for it really says it does matter.” [Lincoln Press Release, 12/24/2009] (emphasis added)
Yes, Ms. Shaw might have thanked Sen. Lincoln after the December vote, but that has nothing to do with the substance of the ad. If anything, the fact that she initially praised Lincoln and then changed her tune after Sen. Lincoln’s second vote just underscores how blatantly Sen. Lincoln has been in trying to play both sides of this issue. Ms. Shaw praised Sen. Lincoln after the first vote because she thought that the HCR bill would make it easier for her to get insurance for her special-needs child. When Sen. Lincoln subsequently voted against a package that contained provisions that would make it easier, Ms. Shaw was understandably no longer happy with Sen. Lincoln’s position. That’s not contradictory at all.
Rather than address this part of the issue, however, FoBL rants about how
Lincoln Cast “Decisive Vote” on Health Care Reform. In November 2009, Sen. Lincoln “cast the decisive vote to open the Senate’s health-care debate…Lincoln’s was the necessary 60th vote on a procedural motion to head off a Republican filibuster.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 11/22/2009]
Lincoln also argues that she did, in fact, support preventing insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions:
Lincoln Voted For Passage of a Landmark Overhaul of the Nation’s Health Insurance System. In December 2009, Lincoln voted for the health insurance reform law which bar “insurers starting in 2014 from denying coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions.” [CQ Today, 12/24/09; Senate Vote #396, 12/24/2009] (emphasis added).
That’s right, FoBL goes with a little sleight of hand and tries to convince you, the reader, that Sen. Lincoln voted for exactly what Ms. Shaw wanted. That’s only half-true, of course, because the fixes bill bumped up the ban on denying coverage to children based on pre-existing conditions from 2014 to immediately upon passage. Gee, I suppose Ms. Shaw is out of line for not wanting to wait four more years to be able to get her daughter health insurance.
This attempted rebuttal by FoBL is typical of the pro-Lincoln side — ignore the point/context of the argument, regurgitate facts that have little or nothing to do with the issue, claim that everyone is lying about poor Blanche Lincoln, lather, rinse, and repeat. Obviously, we’ve made no secret here at BHR of our pro-Halter stance; stuff like this just reminds us why.