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And we ain’t Jane Hamsher, either.

From time to time we receive communications addressed to us here at Show Me Progress (and at They gave us a republic…, Blue Girl‘s shop) from individuals shopping a story, sending us a tip, and, every once in a while, bestowing an attaboy or attagirl upon one of our modest mudpies. Today I received an e-mail from a Washington, D.C. public relations firm addressed to me (at They gave us a republic…) which mentioned both blogs and our coverage of the republican debt hostage crisis (my terminology). The representative of the firm was shopping a point of view on “the health care compact”:

From: xxxxxxxxxx (xxxxx@craftdc.com)

Date: Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Subject: Attn: Michael Bersin; have you caught this Nixon veto?

To: WorthyDescendants@gmail.com

Good afternoon Michael,

I know you guys are busy at Show Me Progress and They Gave Us A Republic talking about the debt ceiling negotiations, but I thought you might be interested in some interesting news from Missouri, specifically the healthcare compact legislation that passed the Missouri state legislature in the last session. It has been sitting on Gov. Nixon’s desk for months and he is expected to veto the bill tomorrow without comment. The veto can be overridden in the next session, but I believe the people of Missouri deserve to hear their Governor explain why he is not signing the bill into law when it aims to give his state the authority over their federal healthcare dollars.

The health care compact isn’t a health policy reform-it’s a governance reform. If approved, it would give states the authority to determine how to spend their federal health care dollars, empowering member states to provide health care services (including Medicare and Medicaid) for their own citizens. It places the decision-making authority for health care policies at the state level, where the legislature would be free to tailor and pilot innovative programs that could simultaneously lower costs, while also improving health care.

See also Eric O’Keefe’s Daily Caller op-ed, Why Health Care Compact could be solution to Medicaid crisis, and his interview with Ben Domenech on Big Government.

The Texas legislature passed a version of the legislation last month and Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign the bill into law on Monday. Georgia and Oklahoma have also signed health care compact bills into law and the legislation has been introduced in over a dozen other states.

Would you be interested in covering this?

Please be in touch with any questions you may have.

[xxxxxxx]

C   R   A   F   T       a uniquely integrated communications approach

Hmmm, what do the Missouri General Assembly, the Texas lege, Ben Domenech and Rick Perry have in common? Right, they’re either full of batshit crazy right wingnuts or are a representative sample of the same.

That was the first clue.

Let’s look at the biographies of the members of the public relations firm:

…After serving as a target state Executive Director for Bush-Cheney’04, Donahue headed the National 72-Hour Task Force for the Republican National Committee, directing grassroots programs, vote analysis and GOTV operations…

Matthew has designed and built websites for countless political candidates, including Governor John Kasich, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Pat Toomey, Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator George Allen, Senator Elizabeth Dole, Speaker John Boehner, Congressman Jim Nussle, and Congressman George Nethercutt, as well as organizations including Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, Pickens Plan, Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, Republican State Leadership Committee, various GOP state parties…

Germany served the McCain campaign as their Director of Online Media…

he was the New Media Advisor to the Senate Republicans in Senator McConnell’s Senate Republican Communication Center…

He has managed Internet operations for three Presidential campaigns – Fred Thompson 2008, Bush-Cheney 04, and Quayle 2000. He served as the Republican National Committee’s first eCampaign Director following the 2004 campaign…

Carol put her organizational and relationship-building skills to work for a variety of organizations, including Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc…

…Earlier in her writing career, she discovered the conservative blogosphere and its monumental influence on grassroots activism and moving information….

Valerie was part of the 2010 team at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. As a Senior Research Analyst, she compiled opposition research for seven races, including Missouri and West Virginia…

You get the picture.

Obi-Wan: …You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.

That was the second clue.

Our Mission

CRAFT offers a uniquely integrated approach to winning political campaigns and promoting issues.

….9. We are responsible for protecting the privacy and security of our clients….

And boy would we like to know who they’re shopping this point of view for, wouldn’t you?

Then, there’s this, from the e-mail:

“…It places the decision-making authority for health care policies at the state level, where the legislature would be free to tailor and pilot innovative programs that could simultaneously lower costs, while also improving health care…”

Really, the republican controlled Missouri General Assembly has interest in “improving” health care by a means other than eliminating it for the have nots? That was the third clue.

The bill, HB 423, as approved by the republican controlled Missouri General Assembly:

HB 423 — HEALTH CARE COMPACT

This bill authorizes Missouri to adopt the provisions of the Health Care Compact to improve health care policy within the states by securing consent from the United States Congress to return the authority to regulate health care to the states that have adopted the compact by specifying that the state legislatures have the primary responsibility to regulate health care in their respective states.  Missouri and other states that join the compact may suspend federal laws, rules, regulations, and orders regarding health care that are inconsistent with the laws and regulations adopted by the member state pursuant to the compact.

Each member state will have the right to a specified amount of federal funds each fiscal year to support the exercise of the member state’s authority under the compact.  The federal funding cannot be conditional on any action of or regulation, policy, law, or rule being adopted by the member state.  At the beginning of each fiscal year, Congress must establish an initial funding level for each member state that must be calculated based on information provided by each member state and audited by the United States Go
vernment Accountability Office.

The Interstate Advisory Health Care Commission is established to study the issues of health care regulation of particular concern to the member states and may make nonbinding recommendations to them.  The commission must collect information and data to assist the member states in their regulation of health care, including assessing the performance of various state health care programs and compiling information on health care prices, and must make this information and data available to the legislatures of the member states.  The commission must not take any action within a member state that conflicts with any state law of that state.

The compact will become effective upon adoption by at least two member states and the consent of Congress unless Congress, in consenting to the compact, alters its fundamental purposes.

The compact can be amended by the unanimous agreement of the member states; and any amendment will be effective unless, within one year of its adoption, Congress disapproves the amendment.

“….Missouri and other states that join the compact may suspend federal laws, rules, regulations, and orders regarding health care that are inconsistent with the laws and regulations adopted by the member state pursuant to the compact….”

Anyone think allowing the republican controlled Missouri General Assembly free rein on this is a good idea? I thought so.

And the sponsors in the Missouri General Assembly?:

HB 423

Authorizes Missouri to adopt the provisions of the Health Care Compact to improve health care policy by returning the authority to regulate health care to the state legislatures

Sponsor: Burlison, Eric (136)

Co-Sponsor: Jones, Timothy (089) … et al.

The usual suspects. That was the fourth clue.

What, is this an ALEC astroturf bill? Just asking.

Oh, really:

The Tea Party’s Latest Scheme to Kill Health Reform

Conservative activists are pushing a radical Plan B to derail “Obamacare.”

– By Stephanie Mencime

Tue Mar. 29, 2011 12:01 AM PDT

The tea party has a new plan to attack health care reform. While some conservative activists are still fighting to get the law defunded and eventually repealed, others are organizing behind a radical, states’-rights proposal that would go beyond merely derailing health reform. Egged on by tea partiers, at least a dozen states are now contemplating legislation that supporters believe would allow them to seize control of and administer virtually all federal health care programs operating in their states and exempt them from the requirements of the health care law. That includes Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly on which a sizable number of tea partiers rely.

The vehicle for this reform end run is called the health care compact, an interstate compact not very different in theory from the ones states use to create regional transit authorities, for instance. Recently, the nation’s largest tea party group, the Tea Party Patriots, has thrown its weight behind the concept, seeing it as another way of downsizing the federal government. But the group may have other motivations, too. TPP has received a significant amount of money from the measure’s backer, the Health Care Compact Alliance, an organization bankrolled by the right-wing heir to a Texas construction company fortune. Last month, the Alliance underwrote TPP’s policy summit in Phoenix for a sponsorship advertised at $250,000. It has also become a regular advertiser on TPP’s website and email promotions….

Teabaggers. That was the fifth clue.

It’s a bad idea. A really bad idea. If implemented this will effectively cut off middle and lower income seniors from access to health care.

And Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) action?:

HB 423 – Authorizes Missouri to adopt the provisions of the Health Care Compact to improve health care policy by returning the authority to regulate health care to the state legislatures

July 14, 2011 – Allowed to go into effect pursuant to Article 3, Section 31 of the Missouri Constitution

[emphasis added]

Missouri Constitution

Article III

LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 31

Governor’s duty as to bills–time limitations–failure to return, bill becomes law.

Section 31. Every bill which shall have passed the house of representatives and the senate shall be presented to and considered by the governor, and, within fifteen days after presentment, he shall return such bill to the house in which it originated endorsed with his approval or accompanied by his objections. If the bill be approved by the governor it shall become a law. When the general assembly adjourns, or recesses for a period of thirty days or more, the governor shall return within forty-five days any bill to the office of the secretary of state with his approval or reasons for disapproval. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within the time limits prescribed by this section it shall become law in like manner as if the governor had signed it.

[underline emphasis added]

He should have vetoed the bill.