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Monday, October 18, 2010

SDGOP Fibs on SHS and Health Care

The South Dakota Republican Party's shadow-cowboy mailer contains a gross distortion of Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's voting record on health care reform. The SDGOP makes it sound as if Herseth Sandlin voted for health care reform (if only she would have!). The SDGOP accuses thus:

Stephanie supported the near-trillion-dollar Baucus health care bill that would have put the government in charge of your health care.

They even include two sources to back this claim up. Dang, if they've got footnotes, how can this claim possibly twist the truth?
  1. SDGOP first cites Jason Allen from The Hill. There is no Jason Allen from The Hill.
  2. Jared Allen did write in The Hill that SHS "gave her blessing to the Baucus bill."
  3. However, that "blessing" was not a vote: it was SHS saying in September 2009 that Baucus's draft had the best chance of becoming law.
  4. SHS actually said this: "The draft released by Chairman Baucus addresses two central goals of the Blue Dog Coalition and the administration: It is deficit-neutral, and it takes real steps to bring down the cost of healthcare over the long term" [emphasis mine], goals the GOP should admire.
  5. SHS said the above in part because the Congressional Budget Office found the Baucus bill would have cost $829 billion over ten years, well below the President's $900-billion budget target... and a bit of a stretch to call "nearly-trillion-dollar." That's like scoring at 82% and telling your parents, "I got nearly a hundred!"
  6. The above dollar figures come from the Politico.com article the SDGOP cites on this claim... and that article that only mentions SHS as being skeptical about the long-term budget sustainability of health care reform. It supports nothing stated in the GOP flyer.
  7. SHS never voted on the Baucus bill, S 1796. She voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, HR 3590, the legislation that finally passed.
  8. Nothing in the Baucus bill or the legislation that actually passed "put government in charge of your health care." Nothing in either cited source says that. The bill I wanted, HR 676, might arguably have done that by implementing a universal single-payer system... but SHS, Pelosi, and President Obama never let that idea come to the table.
The shadow cowboy grouses about the voting record but cites no actual votes on health care. South Dakotans are "strong and independent," but they're also straight shooters... unlike the South Dakota GOP.

Bonus Noem Trick: On her previous flyer (you know, the one that almost lies about the NRA and breaks VoteSmart.org's acceptable use policy) Noem misrepresents Herseth Sandlin's score from the Gun Owners of America. VoteSmart.org lists that rating as a D. The Gun Owners of America themselves currently list SHS's rating as B-. So which rating does Noem choose: the rating posted at the original source, or the lower rating at a secondary source that needs updating? Of course, Noem chooses her pitch over reality.

All this makes me wonder what kind of stories Noem makes up when the Highway Patrol pulls her over.


  1. Obamacare is not budget neutral, check out the link http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/cbo-obamacare-would-cost-over-2-trillion

    The Dems are trying to make it look budget neutral by trying to force the CBO to cook the books.

    Tim Higgins

  2. But there's the thing, Tim. The GOP mailer wants you to think they're talking about ObamaCare. Their sources on this mailer are actually talking about the original Baucus bill and misrepresenting the Sep 2009 CBO scoring. Even if what you say about the legislation that actually passed is true, the text of the GOP flyer misrepresents the Congresswoman's voting record.


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