Our radio ads in NJ-7 and FL-24, exposing the gross hypocrisy of Leonard Lance and Sandy Adams-- each of whom tried to deceive their constituents by claiming to not be taking government-subsidized healthcare while getting it from their respective state's programs-- have stopped running... at least for now. We have some more plans for these two liars.

As Jim Rosen pointed out for the McClatchy newspapers a few days ago, Norman Ornstein, an analyst with the conservative American Enterprise Institute, notes a significant gap between the talk and the walk of lawmakers who oppose "the federal takeover of health care" while accepting taxpayer funded medical benefits for themselves and their families. Ornstein points out that "The amount of hypocrisy here is obviously very high for people who talk about how we all have to make sacrifices, but don't make any sacrifices themselves. They talk about how the health care system is out of control, but then they take these very generous benefits they get as members of Congress."

One or two of the Republicans-- but literally only one or two-- actually sound almost like progressive Democrats when they refuse the healthcare package. Florida freshman Richard Nugent, in turning down the federal medical benefits to which he was entitled, seemed to indict the vast majority of the other GOP freshmen as hypocrites. "When you have Americans that are struggling, why should I get a cost savings because I've just got elected to the United States House of Representatives?" Sounds great, right? Except... does the former sheriff get taxpayer-funded healthcare through his old job, the way Lance does?

Seventeen new Republican lawmakers, almost one-fifth of the large House GOP freshman class, have rejected federal medical coverage for themselves and their families to highlight their opposition to President Barack Obama's showcase health insurance law.

South Carolina's four rookie congressmen aren't following their lead.

Reps. Tim Scott, Mick Mulvaney, Trey Gowdy and Jeff Duncan all voted last month to repeal what they and their Republican colleagues scathingly call "ObamaCare," the landmark bill the president signed into law last March to provide federally mandated coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans.

Yet the state's four freshman representatives aren't repealing their own new memberships in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program, a heavily taxpayer-subsidized plan with broad choices, generous provisions and low premiums thanks to discounted rates for its 8 million policyholders nationwide [72% of whose costs are paid by taxpayers].

...Rep. Trey Gowdy, a Spartanburg Republican who defeated incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis last year in the Upstate's GOP primary, said he now has the same health coverage he had from 1994 to 2000 when he was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Greenville.

"The way our health insurance is set up in this country is-- you receive health insurance from your employer," Gowdy said.

Gowdy said he chose to go on the federal health plan instead of using state government coverage provided to his wife and their two children through her job as a Spartanburg public schools teacher's aide.

"It may have scored political points for me to tell everyone I turned down my federal health insurance, but it seems disingenuous and would have added to the South Carolina rolls someone who has employment elsewhere," he said.

However solid it may be, that kind of reasoning could extract a political price.

Only one-third of Americans believe that new House members who campaigned against Obama's health insurance law should accept their federal medical coverage, according to a survey in November by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-affiliated firm in Raleigh, N.C.

Fifty-two percent of Americans think the GOP freshmen lawmakers should reject the federal benefits, while 15 percent have no opinion.

Republican and independent voters had even stronger feelings, with 58 percent of them saying their party's new House members should turn down the medical coverage.

We're trying to raise the funds to put our ad on more New Jersey radio stations. If you haven't heard it or would like to donate to that effort, you can do both here. And if you'd like to read a guest post from Ed Potosnak, the progressive Democrat who ran against Lance in 2010 and plans on doing the same in 2012, here's a link.



New Jersey's Biggest Hypocrite-- The New Blue America Ad Leonard Lance Forced Us To Make

Last night Forbes Magazine summed up our dilemma: because technically our first ad was inaccurate-- we didn't mention that Lance was still taking government-subsidized healthcare paid for by New Jersey taxpayers through the state plan instead of the far less costly federal congressional plan-- we had to stop running it on WCTC, 1450AM in Somerset. "[T]he reason Rep. Lance turned down the federal benefits," explains Forbes "is because he’s already getting a better policy at a much better deal from the State of New Jersey. As a retiree from the state senate, he qualified for a free Cadillac style health care plan the state provides for retirees and their families (he does have to pay co-pays but no premiums) for life."

That would be one of the programs that have come under attack by conservative Governor Chris Christie in his battle with public employee unions over the unusually lucrative benefits paid to retiring public servants.

Oops. So much for sacrificing to make a point.

...What is important here is that Rep. Lance and his family are in great shape when it comes to their own health care thanks to the generosity of the taxpayers of New Jersey. As for the Americans who would be denied health coverage by Lance’s repeal vote-- coverage that does not even begin to approach the quality of what the good Congressman is receiving for free-- well, I guess that’s a personal problem for Americans that Rep. Lance cannot be bothered about.

So... our new ad (above) is ready to go and we're getting it up on WCTC this week. And we'd like to get it on some other stations as well. Can you help us do that through our ActBlue page?

Ed Potosnak, the Blue America-endorsed candidate from 2010, who is looking like Lance's likely challenger in 2012 as well, is demanding that Lance "come clean with New Jerseyans and admit the radio ads run on WCTC were essentially correct." We agree.

Lance claimed ads educating listeners to the fact that he voted to deny everyday Americans the benefits, protections, and security he gets through Government provided healthcare for him and his family were false. After Congressman Lance requested the ad be pulled because he forwent federal insurance, what Mr. Lance was attempting to conceal was then uncovered. Congressman Lance’s family health insurance is being paid for by New Jersey taxpayers, to the tune of $1,906.42 per month, or $22,877.04 per year, more than twice the cost of the federal plan.

----

“If we are going to get our edge back in America we need to change the people in Washington because our families are taxed enough and deserve some honesty,” Potosnak added. “I am committed to creating jobs for unemployed Americans by simulating innovation, research and development and improving education,” he concluded.

When Lance's clueless bully of a Chief of Staff, Todd Mitchell, insisted WCTC stop running the ad because of the technicality, he stepped in it big time. "I should've kept my mouth shut," he moaned to the Cherry Hill Post-Courier when Lance was exposed trying to mislead his own constituents by making them believe he was paying for his own healthcare without any government subsidies, the way he insists they do.

We'll look forward to helping Democrats win back this seat, one that President Obama won in 2010, next year and replacing a hypocritical and dishonest career politician with a forward-thinking progressive, hopefully Ed Potosnak. Somehow I have a feeling New Jersey residents are sick and tired of being represented by Snooki and Leonard Lance. Again, give us a hand if you can with the ad here and... listen to it again:

John Amato: Here's my quote from Blue America's press release:

"Governor Christie," said Amato, "claims he's opposed to these Cadillac style plans for state retirees. Well Lance's plan is a Rolls Royce, not a Caddy and he didn't need to be burdening New Jersey taxpayers with his family healthcare. He could have done what almost every other member of Congress did-- including all the other Republicans in the New Jersey delegation-- and accepted the federal plan. Or is Christie's opposition just for public employee unions-- teachers, firefighters and policemen-- and not for career politicians like Lance?"



Blue America PAC, along with Daily Kos, Americans For America PAC and Americans United have teamed up to run ads that are exposing Republicans who are voting to try and repeal health care for Americans while they are receiving their own government funded health care. In NJ, Rep. Leonard Lance's people successfully stopped our ad from running on radio due to a technicality, but then the Courier Post actually did some reporting:

Reporter Jane Roh did some great investigative journalism for the Courier Post.
New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance successfully challenged the accuracy of a radio ad attacking him this week and got it pulled off the air.

But in doing so, the 7th district Republican may have created more problems for himself.

"I should've kept my mouth shut," Chief of Staff Todd Mitchell told the Courier-Post Friday.

The progressive group Blue America PAC Wednesday released basically identical ads hitting four House Republicans on their votes against health care reform. The ads implied the Republicans-- Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Charlie Bass, R-N.H., Sandy Adams, R-Fla., and Lance-- enjoy taxpayer-funded health insurance.

"They voted to make it tougher for you to get affordable health care," the announcer said.

markos tweets:

First smart thing Republican has said in a while: "I should've kept my mouth shut". http://is.gd/NUVj9P

Greg Sargent weighs in on the story and has a great piece up online at the Washington Post: House GOPer against big government health care enjoys taxpayer-funded state government insurance

Okay, this one is funny. As you know, Dems and lefty groups have been loudly insisting that House Republicans in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act should forego the "government run" insurance they enjoy as members of Congress.

One of those GOPers is Rep. Leonard Lance of New Jersey, a fiscal hawk who opposes the health reform law out of opposition to big government. He is in the crosshairs of an ad by Blue America PAC accusing him of enjoying taxpayer-funded insurance. After that ad started running, Lance's office protested that he is not enrolled in the plan enjoyed by members of Congress, and successfully got the ad pulled. But in response, New Jersey's Courier-Post did some digging and found that as a retired state government official, he and his family do enjoy taxpayer-funded health care on the state level

---

Whoops! Rep. Lance's chief of staff appears to realize that by protesting the ad attacking him, he's only created more problems. The aide told the Courier-Post: "I should have kept my mouth shut." It's another mark of the ways that the politics of repeal -- even if the health law is unpopular -- are putting some Republicans in a very awkward spot.

I want to thank those of you who have helped fund our newest round of ads and we're redoing our original one so it will be running in NJ very shortly.

We'd like to run a revamped version of the ad on even more stations. Can you help us with a $10 or $20 contribution here



Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) is Blue America's newest Health Care Repeal Hypocrite

Blue America, DailyKos, Americans United for Change and Americans For America PAC have been producing ads that target Republican hypocrites who are voting to repeal health care for Americans while keeping their own government health care for their own families.

Howie writes: This morning the Blue America health-care hypocrites radio ad (above) started running on "Good Time Oldies," 1450 WCTC in Somerset, particularly heavily on Jack Ellery's morning drive-time talk show. The idea is to challenge two-term Congressman Leonard Lance on his efforts to prevent the health protections he enjoys as a Member of Congress from extending to all American families. Lance, who had signed up for taxpayer-subsidized health care when he was a New Jersey state legislator before he became a congressman, was among the Republicans who voted down a transparency amendment that would have required all Members of Congress to state whether or not they were getting taxpayer-subsidized health care.

Now he's waffling on whether or not he takes it and there is no way to get the truth of who pays for his family's health care. His name has never been included on any of the lists of Republican congressmembers rejecting government-funded health care. We may never know the truth, but what we do know is that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce released a study that shows the impact of repealing the health-care reform law specifically on New Jersey's 7th CD. The findings, in short, showed that the repeal Lance voted for last month would have significant consequences on the district by:

Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to 120,000 to 303,000 individuals, including 9,000 to 39,000 children, with pre-existing conditions.

* Rescinding consumer protections for 508,000 individuals who have health insurance through their employer or the market for private insurance.

* Eliminating health care tax credits for up to 18,200 small businesses and 74,000 families. ? Increasing prescription drug costs for 8,100 seniors who hit the Part D drug “donut hole” and denying new preventive care benefits to 96,000 seniors.

* Increasing the costs of early retiree coverage for up to 9,700 early retirees.

* Eliminating new health care coverage options for 1,700 uninsured young adults.

* Increasing the costs to hospitals of providing uncompensated care by $17 million annually.

Last night I called Ed Potosnak, the Blue America-endorsed Democrat who ran against Lance in 2010 and will try to do so again in 2012. He told me that he has no idea how Lance funds his personal health care, but that what's important is that he voted to repeal it for New Jersey's hard-pressed residents. “Every American," said Ed, "deserves access to affordable, high quality, health care, and I am committed to improving the new health-care law to allow families to choose a public option. My partner, Jeremy, is a Registered Nurse and tells me how the Emergency Department is being used as a primary care facility for too many Americans, resulting in higher health-care costs at the expense of all Americans. Better health care means a healthier and more prosperous nation."

If you'd like to help us expand the rotation of the ad -- or if you'd like to contribute to Ed's campaign -- you can do it at this Act Blue Page

The Politico has an article up telling the story of the problems 16 Republican House members are having with their own health care after opting out of their government program. Ah, you can smell the schadenfreude:

Insurance reality hits House GOP

Ask any House Republican about repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law, and you’ll get the same fiery, self-assured talking points about tearing down what Speaker John Boehner has called a “monstrosity.”

But talk to some of the 16 freshman lawmakers who have declined their government health benefits, and you’ll hear a different side of the story — about tough out-of-pocket expenses, pre-existing conditions and support for health reforms that would help those who struggle with their coverage. As they venture into the free market for health insurance, these lawmakers — many of whom swept into office fueled by tea party anger over the health care law — are facing monthly premiums of $1,200 and fears of double-digit rate hikes.

The experience has caused some of them to think harder about the “replace” part of the “repeal and replace” mantra the GOP has adopted regarding the health care law.

“I have a niece who has pre-existing conditions, and I worry about her if she was ever to lose her job,” said Florida Rep. Richard Nugent, one of the freshman lawmakers who declined federal health insurance benefits.

Every single House Republican voted to repeal the health care law last month....read on

As these idiots are finding out, reality sucks when you have to live in the real world and deal with our health-care system. Please help us by exposing them.

(Blue America PAC is made up of CrooksandLiars, DownWithTyranny and Digby)




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