8th District fact-check: Democratic ad targets Republican Dino Rossi

Political attack ads are already hitting the airwaves in the closely watched 8th Congressional District.

 

There are a little more than 80 days until the November election, and the political attack ads are already hitting the airwaves in the race for Washington's 8th Congressional District.

A new ad paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targets Republican candidate Dino Rossi’s record as a state lawmaker in Olympia.

"As a legislator, Rossi wrote a budget that would kick 46,000 kids off health care and raise taxes on nursing home care,” said the ad that began running on KING 5 Wednesday morning.

The DCCC ad cites a Seattle Times article about a 2003 state budget plan, proposed at a time when Washington faced a massive budget shortfall and Dino Rossi served as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, a key budget negotiator in the state Senate.

It’s true that an early version of the budget proposal, that year, did propose to eliminate coverage for an estimated 46,000 children in the state Medicaid program.

However, the TV ad doesn't mention that the proposal did not pass. The Seattle Times article also points out the Senate Republican plan, overall, actually had a lot in common with Democratic Governor Gary Locke's initial proposal, described as an "all-cuts" plan.

However, Democrats who controlled the state House pushed back, expressing concern, specifically about the children's health care cuts, ultimately forcing a compromise.

See page 156 for estimates on changes made to children health care

As for the claim about raising taxes on nursing homes, that also comes from the 2003 budget plan which charged nursing homes a tax of $6.50 per bed, per day. But, a past Seattle Times article goes on to point out nursing homes actually asked the legislature for the tax, as a way to obtain more matching federal dollars and increase overall funding.

The DCCC ad also asserts “Rossi backs a plan giving billions in tax breaks to insurance companies while increasing healthcare premiums for older Americans"

That portion of the ad refers to the Republican tax cut bill passed last year, that Rossi has said he supports and considers a GOP win.

The claim about increasing health care premiums for older Americans comes from analysis by AARP that predicted rising costs given the tax bill's changes to the Affordable Care Act's mandate that required individuals to buy health care coverage.

Dino Rossi has said he supports getting rid of health care mandates, in general, but he's also said he doesn't want people to face higher premiums.

This is the second day in a row where health care claims have come up in this race. On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee took aim at Dr. Kim Schrier; here’s a fact check of their claim.

Read the article here.