Dennis Rehberg: Providing Health Care for Children is Extremist!

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Dennis Rehberg continues to never
disappoint his constituents
, as long as you understand that his
constituents are he Republican Party and big business, not the
people of Montana. Presented with the opportunity to expand health
care access for millions of uninsured Americans and thousands of
Montanans, Rehberg offered this incredible sound bite:

They (Democrats) are pushing forward an agenda of
eliminating affordable, reliable health insurance from private
providers and shifting to an inefficient, costly, government-run
health care plan,” he said in a statement late
Wednesday.

I wonder which reliable, affordable insurance program the over ten
million Americans under 18 currently have? The American Medical
Student Association describes these children, most the product of
two parent families whose parents work. Mr. Rehberg and I clearly
have a different definition of extremist. In my view, working
families probably should be able to make sure their children can
afford doctor visits and preventative care.

Mr. Rehberg is also, as we all know, a liar. He told the IR that
"Rehberg said using the Medicare money to fund the SCHIP expansion
is pitting senior citizens against kids in a battle for health
care, and that 16,000 Montanans get coverage through Medicare
Advantage."

If that were true, one might expect the AARP to oppose the bill.
Funny thing is, the Montana AARP doesn't.

 

A Montana spokeswoman for AARP, the consumer group
representing people 50 and over, said the group is
“disappointed” with Rehberg’s vote. The measure
actually strengthens Medicare programs for low-income seniors and
reduces “excess payments” to private Medicare Advantage
plans, said Pat Callbeck-Harper.

 

“When CHIP reauthorization and
Medicare legislation return to the floor for final approval, we
hope he will reverse his vote against such a critical bill,”
she said.

Wow. It's almost like Rehberg is using divisive rhetoric to
divide voters and pit them against one another, rather than working
as an honest broker. It's almost as if he's letting ideology and
politics trump health care, for both children and the elderly.
It's almost as if Mr. Rehberg doesn't represent the interests of
Montanans.

There is a place for reasoned disagreement on the size of federal
programs to insure children. That's not Rehberg's approach. He is
far out of the mainstream on this issue, attacking the very idea
that children should receive government assistance for health care.
Real political leaders who represent their constituents would be
looking at the details of the bill for compromise, not issuing
inane soundbites and trying to divide the electorate.

It's time to send Dennis back to "ranching."

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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