Issaquah, WA, September 12, 2018 – In an interview yesterday with KIRO 7’s Essex Porter, Republican Dino Rossi defended his record by insisting he “didn’t try to cut kids’ health coverage” [0:53]. But despite what he wants you to think, Dino Rossi has a long record opposing children’s health insurance programs.
If Dino Rossi had his way, hundreds of thousands of kids would have gone without health insurance over the past 20 years. Back in 1999, then-state senator Dino Rossi voted against creating the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in the Ways & Means Committee. The program, which passed despite Rossi’s efforts, provided health insurance to 10,000 low income children through federal matching funds. Then in 2007, Rossi doubled down on his opposition to children’s health programs, opposing efforts to expand the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program to cover 72,000 uninsured Washington kids.
Finally, in 2003 Rossi’s signature budget proposed Medicaid cuts that would have left 46,000 children off Medicaid. Democrats jumped in and successfully negotiated with Republicans to restore Medicaid funding. But Mr. Rossi deserves no credit for Democrats’ work to advocate for children’s health coverage.
If Dino Rossi genuinely wants to “protect the most vulnerable” as he repeatedly claims on the campaign trail, he should consistently support basic health coverage for low income children.
While Rossi spent the past two decades repeatedly trying to cut insurance coverage for low income children, Dr. Kim Schrier, an award-winning pediatrician, spent those years providing medical care to thousands of children in the 8th District. As someone who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes unexpectedly at age 16, Dr. Schrier understands the importance of medical insurance. That’s why she has released a comprehensive plan to lower costs and get everyone covered. Meanwhile, Rossi has demonstrated time and again that voters can’t trust him to stand up for children’s health.