Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Wurlitzer Prize for Wingnuttery -- September 8, 2007

This week's winner of the Wurlitzer Prize for Wingnuttery is the Heritage Foundation's Nina Owcharenko. Nina, a Senior Policy Analyst for Health Care at The Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies, who holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and spent seven years as an aid to both Rep. Jim DeMint (R-SC), and Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), is a leading conservative "thinker" in the SCHIP reauthorization debate. She and the Heritage Foundation have produced a video which exemplifies the Heritage Foundation's trademark intellectual dishonesty.

The single most dishonest feature of the video is the disconnect between cause and effect. Nina would have us believe that the program is expanding in order to drive children from private insurance into a government program. The truth is various states have been pushing for an expansion of SCHIP precisely because, faced with spiraling increases in health insurance premiums, more and more employers are electing to drop dependent coverage and more and more middle class parents, confronted with the same price spiral, are unable to pay for private insurance. Given a choice between paying for health coverage for their children and making the mortgage payment, more and more parents chose the mortgage payment.

For choosing to view a real life problem impacting many people just her age as being ideologically driven, Nina Owcharenko is this week's winner of the Wurlitzer Prize for Wingnuttery.