Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A vain effort? Challenging Democrats to think.

Posted by Craig Westover | 5:28 PM |  

It’s usually a waste of time picking on DCCC press releases. It’s virtually impossible to embarrass Democrats, especially where Michele Bachmann is concerned. Nonetheless, there’s an interesting thread in the below the subhead “facts.”
Bush, Bachmann Put Special Interests First in Stay the Course Campaign Stop
Bush in Minnesota Shows his Support for Michele Bachmann as she Shows her Loyalty to the Failed Bush Agenda that Has Repeatedly Put the Special Interests Ahead of Women and Children

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, President Bush is campaigning in Minnesota for Rubber Stamp in Training Michele Bachmann and with her record of putting big special interests ahead of the well being of women and children, it is no surprise that Bush is supporting her. Minnesota families deserve to know that Bachmann has repeatedly voted against health care for women and children. In 2005 alone, she voted against helping women with postpartum depression, against developing programs to prevent cervical cancer and against expanding mental health services for Minnesota youth. She has voted this way all while putting the special interests ahead of Minnesota interests and it is long past time for a change.

This November, Minnesota families face a clear choice. They can choose the George Bush-Michele Bachmann status quo or they can vote for a new direction, where the special interests will never trump the critical health care needs of women and children.

“Over and over Michele Bachmann has voted to put the special interests first and the health and well being of women and children last,” said Bill Burton, communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “George Bush may expect that kind of behavior from his Rubber Stamps in Congress, but Minnesota families deserve better than Michele Bachmann and her record of repeatedly voting against health care for women and children.”

Putting Women and Children Second

Bachmann Voted Against Postpartum Depression Education for Women. In 2005, Bachmann voted against a bill requiring and providing for the commissioner to establish a postpartum depression education and information program for use by health care professionals providing prenatal care to women. [SF2278, 5/4/05; passed 38-29]

Bachmann Voted Against Cervical Cancer Prevention Plan. In 2005, Bachmann voted against a bill requiring and providing for the commissioner to develop a statewide integrated and comprehensive cervical cancer prevention plan. [SF2278, 5/4/05; passed 38-29]

Bachmann Voted Against Expanding Mental Health Services for Youth Rehabilitation. In 2005, Bachmann voted against the 2005 Health and Human Services Omnibus Spending Bill, which expanded medical assistance coverage to transitional youth intensive rehabilitative mental health services. [SF2278, 5/4/05; passed 38-29]
Look at the three programs Bachmann voted against. Good intentions all, but are the proposed programs legitimate functions of government?

Why should state government, as opposed to say medical associations, be in the business of running a postpartum depression and education program? Why isn’t that part of the physician/patient relationship. Good intentions, but what are the criteria that justify this program as opposed to some other medical education program? What are the criteria for determining if any medical education program rises to the level of requiring government intervention? To classify a vote against this program as a vote against women is pure demagoguery.

The cervical cancer prevention and the mental health coverage for plans for transitional youth make a little more sense as public health issues, although the DCCC criticism is based on good intentions and not any set of objective criteria for why such programs rise to the level of necessary government intervention. As I’ve often criticized Republicans, the DCCC is so locked into its anti-opposition mode that it fails to advance any meaningful discussion. What is there about these latter two programs that justifies them as “public health” issues not individual health issues? Why might Bachmann’s vote be wrong (not evil) -- on logical, not emotional grounds?

The larger question is, what constitutes a “public health” issue? What are the criteria to determine when a health issue rises to the level of necessitating government intervention? Don’t just demagogue Bachmann. Think about it.