Will Greg Walden Support Kids or Party Politics?

Chuck Sheketoff

Dr. John Kitzhaber may be the architect of the Oregon Health Plan, but Greg Walden was the person who actually delivered the benefits to Oregon’s uninsured poor.

In 1993, after Oregon received federal approval to implement the Oregon Health Plan, then-House Majority Leader Greg Walden negotiated the political deal to jumpstart the plan with a 10-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes. Through these negotiations, Walden demonstrated that he was not an ideologue. To the contrary, Walden was a skillful pragmatist. The deal served his interests since, as commentators at the time noted, Walden had his eye on a future Governor’s race.

Fast forward to 2007 and the present debate between Congress and the Bush Administration about extending and funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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Walden began the year lending his name to a letter to the House budget committee arguing for more money for CHIP in the budget. But something happened to Walden by the time the reauthorization and appropriations bill came up for a vote in the House – he backed the President and opposed the CHIP measure. When the compromise conference committee version came back to the House floor, he voted against kids’ health insurance, again.

Following his “no” vote on the compromise, Walden issued a statement explaining his new rationale. Unfortunately, as I explained in a letter to the congressman, none of his arguments has merit.

As is well known, the President vetoed the measure.

The House is slated to vote on Thursday, October 18, to override the President’s veto of the compromise.

Will Greg Walden side with moderate Republicans, help thousands of uninsured children in his district, and vote to override the President’s veto? Or will Greg Walden turn his back on those children and stick with the President?

Help Greg Walden decide. Call his office toll free 800-828-0498.

Tell him that all of America’s children deserve health care and that he should vote to override the veto.

This evening there are candlelight vigils across Oregon urging Walden to join the rest of Oregon’s congressional delegation in voting to override the vigil. Find a vigil near you by clicking here.

  • genop (unverified)

    Socialized medicine for our kids - Bad, very bad. Socialized occupation/democratization of Iraq - Good, very good. In fact, in $ terms 10 times better. For whom?

  • backbeat12 (unverified)

    Was it terrible of me to point out during my call to his office that the red counties are heavily subsidized by the blues? And that we are one state.... all of Oregon's children deserve health care, so please override the veto?

  • Oregon Bill (unverified)

    Will Greg Walden Support Kids or Party Politics?

    Party politics

  • trishka (unverified)

    i called, for what it's worth. also spent some time calling move.on members in other states, whose (R) reps have been deemed possible converts. it was an interesting exercise.

  • (Show?)

    I'd also like to know whether Walden, as well as other House Republicans, support the press releases being put out by the Republican members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

    I think it's funny that they'll take time on the floor to condemn an item done by an outside group (MoveOn), but then one of their own committees will put out crap like that.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)

    Well, we all KNOW that Nancy Pelosi and her ilk have decided to sacrifice kids in favor of party politics. Kind of like she sacrificed workers in the Solomon Islands.

  • DAN GRADY (unverified)


    If Walden doesn't cave on the SCHIP tomorrow, this should be the final straw, the anchor that finally sinks his candidacy.

    Our opportunities with this Republican will be far an few between, as he has proven himself savy as any seeming moderate while endorsing the most fanatically formed policies for political capital of his own.

    The Iraq War, the Surge, and now SCHIP, should be enough weight for a Democrat to hold this candidate under long enough to sink him.

    Happy Thoughts;

    Dan Grady

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
    <h2>Walden doesn't care because he doesn't have to care. He has health insurance for his own kids. Presumably, other Walden family members are in the same shape. He got the farmers in the Klamath Basin their water so they don't care. Other farmers and ranchers in the 2nd District are happy with him taking care of them, so they don't care. But they'll all stand facing the flag with their right hands over their hearts and piously mumble "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Hypocrites.</h2>

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