Friday, May 05, 2017

Trump's Favorite Congresscritter Exposed Back Home In His New York District


Presumably, Chris Collins (R-NY), infamous as the first congressman to have backed Trump, got back to Clarence this morning. I suspect what was waiting for him in the Buffalo News, his district's biggest newspaper, was worse than what most Republicans who voted for TrumpCare Thursday had to face. Keep in mind, though, that NY-27, has a PVI of R+8 where Obama lost badly both times and where Trump trounced Clinton 59.7-35.2%, his best performance in the state-- and considerably better than Romney had done when he won the district with 55.3%. Collins himself beat Diana Kastenbaum, who was unable to even raise the $5,000 that would have triggered an FEC report, by an even greater margin, 67.7-32.3%.

That said, Collins couldn't have been too happy with either his CNN appearance or the report about it in the News this morning. First 2 lines: "Rep. Chris Collins told CNN that he didn't read the entire Republican health care bill that the House passed Thursday. And then he told the Buffalo News that he was unaware of a key provision in the bill that decimates a health plan that serves 635,000 New Yorkers."
Told by a Buffalo News reporter that the state's largest loss of federal funds under the bill would be $3 billion annually that goes to the state's Essential Health Plan, Collins said: "Explain that to me."

The Essential Plan is an optional program under Obamacare, offered only by New York and Minnesota, that provides low-cost health insurance to low- and middle-income people who don't qualify for Medicaid. State Health Department figures show that more than 19,000 people in Erie and Niagara counties were on the Essential Plan in January.

Asked by the Buffalo News if he was aware of the bill's cut in funding to the Essential Plan, Collins said: "No. But it doesn't surprise me for you to tell me that there were two states in the nation that were taking advantage of some other waiver program and New York was one of the two states."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which says it is targeting Collins when he runs for re-election next year, was quick to attack Collins for his comments.

“This disturbing admission makes it clear that Collins doesn’t respect or care about the people who sent him to Washington," said Evan Lukaske, a DCCC spokesman. "Instead of reading pharmaceutical stock financial statements, Collins should actually read the legislation that would take away health care from thousands of his constituents.”

Asked about Collins' comments on CNN and to the Buffalo News, his spokesman, Michael McAdams, noted that Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., also told Blitzer he had not read the entire health bill.

“Once again the Buffalo News is twisting a Republican’s words to fit its out-of-touch, liberal narrative," McAdams said. "Congressman Collins has been intimately involved in the creation of this legislation from its inception ... He understands the impact it would have on Western New Yorkers. To infer Congressman Collins doesn’t understand the disastrous impact Obamacare has had on our region and our nation is absolutely shameful."
One unfortunate caveat-- the DCCC isn't really targeting Collins and, at least so far, there isn't even a Democratic candidate running for the seat. The DCCC may stick it's tongue out at Collins and make mean faces, but there's no reason to think they will invest serious money in unseating him. That's not what they do-- unless his stock scandal actually blows up into a judicial matter.

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