• National Democrats target Rossi in battle for control of Congress

    By: Essex Porter

    Updated:

    The TV commercial attacking Republican Dino Rossi doesn't come directly from Democratic candidate Kim Schrier. Instead, it's the Democratic Congressional Committee that has reportedly spent more than a $1 million dollars to broadcast the attack.

    We watched it with the target of the attack ad, businessman Republican state Sen. Dino Rossi. It refers to his work as the budget writer in the state Senate.

    “But the record shows Rossi tried to cut health coverage for 46,000 kids,” the ad says.

    Rossi is adamant that he “didn't try to cut kids health coverage.”

    In an email to KIRO 7, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pointed to a Seattle Times article that showed cuts to children's health coverage were part of Rossi's original Republican budget.

    Rossi told us he worked then with Gov. Gary Locke and ended up covering more poor children, not fewer.

    “We were covering 25,000 more poor children, not 46,000 less,” Rossi said.

    Another part of the ad claims Rossi, “raised bed taxes on nursing homes.”

    Rossi says that's true, but he did it to attract more federal money.

    “The nursing home industry came to us and said you know, if you do this bed fee, we can get matching money from the federal government to fill that $75 million hole.”

    The DCCC pointed us to another story which confirmed some of Rossi's account, but also says that about a third of the nursing homes that were taxed didn't get any money back.

    The ad also claims Rossi is a threat to retirement security.

    “Now Rossi supports tax breaks for his wealthy donors that could mean Medicare cuts for us,” it says.

    “I will not support cuts in Medicare and Social Security for seniors who are counting on this,” Rossi told us.

    No cuts for seniors, but will that mean lowering benefits for, say, somebody in their 30s and 40s? “I haven't made that proposal,” Rossi responded.

    Read previous coverage below:

    “Poor kids on Medicaid, many turned away from health care provider,” said the narrator of the attack ad aimed at 8th district Democrat and pediatrician Dr. Kim Schrier.

    The words on the screen imply she's refusing most Medicaid patients.

    “It's an outright lie. I mean, I have never ever turned a patient away,” Schrier said in an interview at her Issaquah campaign headquarters.

    That's why Schrier's campaign sent a letter demanding that TV stations cease airing the ad. 

    It says the ad “falsely states or implies that Dr. Schrier has personally refused to provide medical care to economically disadvantaged children."

    In their defense, the creators of the ad say Schrier's letter is a "mischaracterization of the claims made in the ad."

    The ad claims that Medicaid patients were turned away at Dr. Kim Schrier's practice. In the ad a narrator says, “It happened at Dr. Kim Schrier's practice,” in a departure from the words that appear on the screen at the same time.

    Asked about the accusation in the ad that her practice turns patients away, Schrier responded, “I believe the accusation in the ad is specifically about me. My patients have never been turned away, nor does my organization turn patients away.”

    But the ad also quotes Schrier's past statement saying her practice does restrict the number of Medicaid patients.

    “If a patient comes with a different provider of Medicaid we change them to the one that we do accept, so literally, nobody gets turned away,” she emphasized.

    Schrier's campaign is getting outside help, too. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running a tough ad against Dino Rossi.

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