The last Republican attack ad against Kim Schrier made my eyes roll up so far into the back of my head that I physically could not watch this new one, but what I hear is more of the same hypocritical nonsense.
The latest ad from Paul Ryan's Congressional Leadership Fund falsely suggests that Schrier "puts profits before patients." To support this alliterative tagline, they rehash an earlier attack about "Schrier's practice" not treating Medicaid kids, and then they implicate her in a lawsuit filed against Virginia Mason back in 2005. The suit accused the hospital of not telling patients that they'd be charged more money for the same procedure just for going to a different VM location. The hospital settled and the patients got their money back. The funny thing here is that both claims have nothing to do with Schrier!
As many journalists have pointed out, Schrier has no control over her hospital's billing practices. She just works there. She wishes it were different, but she's caught up in the same horrible health care system that everyone else is.
In fact, according to her spokesperson, Schrier has personally tried to lower the cost of health care for her own patients in a number of ways. She has "sent patients to Canada to fill prescriptions," delivered "an oxygen monitor to a patient's home to avoid overnight emergency room costs," and helped patients "find the most affordable treatment and specialists." She's even explained to her patients small but important distinctions, such as the cost savings involved in buying antibiotic gels versus antibiotic lotions.
Another thing we should all be tired of explaining: Yes, Schrier works in the least efficient health care system in the developed world, as evidenced in part by the very situation the CLF ad cites. But one of the reasons why hospitals charge so much for "facility fees" is because a higher percentage of uncompensated care at those facilities drives up their costs, which they then pass along to patients. We wouldn't have so much uncompensated care—and Schrier wouldn't have to lug an oxygen tank to her patients' houses after her shift—if we had a universal health care system that covered everyone. But we can't have one of those because Republicans like Dino Rossi have steadfastly refused for decades to sign on.
Meanwhile, Rossi is a slick commercial realtor who made money on foreclosures during the housing crisis, according to the National Journal. His career began with a leg-up by actual criminal fraudsters, and he's become so rich as a landlord that he won't even show us his tax returns. And no matter how many times he wants to lie about it—and no matter how many times Danny Westneat wants to equivocate about it—Rossi proposed a bill that would have kicked 46,000 kids off of Medicaid. He wanted to do that! That was his thing! That was his great solution for "balancing" a budget while leaving the state in nearly $400 million in debt.
With this ad, the Republicans are clearly trying to frame Schrier as rich lady from Sammamish who got wealthy on the backs of the poor and the disenfranchised.
But taking wealth from the poor and middle class and giving it to the rich is the Republican party's entire economic model. It's the only idea they have. Look at the Republican Tax bill, which gives corporations and the hyper-wealthy permanent tax cuts while sunsetting the cuts for the middle class. They've been pushing this trickle-down nonsense for decades, and it doesn't work. See for reference: Kansas.
Moreover, this attack ad from the CLF comes straight out of the I-Know-You-Are-But-What-Am-I school of Republican comebacks, and it should sound very familiar. I'm a crook? No, you're the crook. Foreign governments helped me win the election? No, foreign governments helped you win the election. I wanted to kick kids off Medicaid? Well, you kicked them out of your office!
Unfortunately, we can expect to see much more of this kind of thing in the near future. According to an analysis from McClatchy—and confirmed by a source familiar with this spending—the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is forking over more money on broadcast and cable ads in Washington's 8th District than they are for any other House race in the country. Their spending in the 8th doubles their spending in Florida's 26th CD, which is "the second-highest recipient of DCCC independent expenditures since early August."
The Democrats are trying to define Dino, or rather reshape the image that's already solidified in the heads of voters who have seen him on ballots three times since 2004. This means the CLF and other Republican PACs will attempt to rush into Seattle's media market and try to define Kim, which will turn this whole thing into more of a mud-slinging mudfest than it already is.
So please, just bookmark this Slog post and come back it whenever you see a new attack on Schrier. Chances are it will still be relevant.