The Trump administration is keeping 500 kids in cages and yet somehow Republicans still think they run images like this.
The Trump administration still has 500 kids locked up in cages and yet somehow Republicans still think they should run images like this. Congressional Leadership Fund

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC associated with Paul Ryan, is running its first attack ad against Kim Schrier, the Democrat running against Dino Rossi in a hotly contested race for in Washington State's 8th District.

The argument made in the ad might sound familiar to regular readers of Slog, and it might seem just a touch hypocritical to anyone who's ever talked to a Republican politician in their life. Let's watch the spot together, like a family:

Though criticizing "Schrier's practice" of refusing to treat Medicaid patients sounds pretty effective and scary, the ad is essentially a warmed-up press release Jason Rittereiser's campaign sent out in May. The CLF just put some ominous piano music to it, paid some kids to stand in an alley, and rolled it into the Seattle media market.

While it's true that Virginia Mason only accepts the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, which excludes thousands of "poor children on Medicaid" in Washington per month, it's misleading to suggest that Schrier has anything to do with that policy.

Schrier can't select the insurance companies her hospital chooses to work with. Hospital administrators make those decisions. They often work with only one or two Medicaid providers due to low reimbursement rates and the administrative cost of increased paperwork. We could raise reimbursement rates and save the poor children the CLF is suddenly so concerned about by shoring up the ACA and passing bills such as the Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women & Children Act, but Ryan and his Republicans have been too busy spending literally their entire political careers trying to gut Medicaid and repeal the ACA with a system that would kick hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians off of their health insurance.

And criticizing Schrier for working at a hospital that turns away some people on Medicaid is a particularly weird attack to level in a race featuring Dino Rossi, who proposed a budget in 2003 that would have eliminated Medicaid coverage for 46,000 kids.

In a statement, Schrier shot back at the CLF, saying Ryan's super PAC is "ready to lie and say whatever they need to to keep the majority and continue efforts to cut healthcare." She also slammed Rossi for supporting the repeal of Obamacare, which she says would "take away healthcare for 32,000 8th District residents, eliminate pre-existing condition protections for 300,000 people in our district, and send costs skyrocketing."

Rossi has indicated some concern for people with pre-existing conditions, but he provides no plan to help them beyond "advocating for market solutions."