Thursday, July 19, 2007

Did the 18 Democrats who voted for this plan, ever consider the consequences?

I was struck by the above question that Charlie Sykes asked yesterday on his blog-

Did the 18 Democrats who voted for this plan, ever consider the consequences?

Sykes goes even further to ask the question-

Did they even read it?

Well, I think that I can answer these questions for Charlie Sykes in a single word.


No,not all 18 Senate Democrats considered the consequences. No, it does not appear that all 18 Democrats actually read the plan.

Perhaps some of the 18 Democrats did read it, but not all of them. How would I know this? I will get to that answer in just a moment.

Let's start with the first question- Did the 18 Democrats, who voted for this plan, consider the consequences?

Of course the 18 Democrats did not consider the consequences. If they had considered the consequences they would never have introduced it into the budget and then passed that budget in a 24 hour period.

If the Democrats wanted to seriously consider the consequences they would have scheduled more than a few hours worth of hearings before they passed this horrifying budget.

From the Senate Democrats own website, we see exactly how many hearings they have had on this subject-

In 2005- they have one hearing on November 7 in Wausau

In 2006- they had a total of three hearing in Beloit, Milwaukee and Racine

In 2007- once again they had one single public hearing on the subject on March 22 before they slammed it into the budget on June 25.

That's it folks. Senate Democrats heard from a handful of doctors, business people and a couple of citizens before they made their power grab.

My guess is that Senate Democrats did not want to hear about the real and true consequences or they would have taken their time and opened the debate up to every single Wisconsin resident.

Now on to the second question: Did they even read it?

I sure does not appear that all of the 18 Senate Democrats actually read the plan. I know of one State Senator in particular who doesn't seem to have read it- State Senator Robert Wirch. He does not seem to have any clue what is in the Healthy Wisconsin plan.

A few days after voting for a massive tax increase for this health plan, Senator Wirch was interviewed on the air by Lenny Palmer and asked why WEAC employees were not going to be part of this plan. At the time, Senator Wirch insisted that they would be part of the plan.

Apparently, someone has since set him straight.

Then, the Senator made his biggest mistake to date- he called into the Lenny Palmer show yesterday, when RPW chair Reince Priebus was hosting.

Senator Wirch was attempting to defend the Healthy Wisconsin plan. The senator was given an opportunity to spew his normal talking points on how this would save people money, etc...

That is when Reince began to question the senator on different parts of the plan. It became obvious that the senator really did not have a grasp on this plan.

Yesterday, the senator was attempting to state that the Healthy Wisconsin plan was not really government run health care- insurance companies would kinda be running it. Of course if you check out the Senate Democrats web page, the plan eliminates "hassling with insurance companies".

So which is it? Is this government run plan or a insurance company run plan?

When the senator was asked about folks moving to Wisconsin just for free health care, he claimed that people had to wait 12 months before coverage would kick in. When Reince pointed out the exceptions to this rule such as being "gainfully employed" the senator began stumbling around again.

Reince then asked Senator Wirch what it legally meant to be "gainfully employed" in order to define what this portion of the Healthy Wisconsin plan meant. Senator Wirch stumbled around without giving a definition. The senator finally became so exasperated he exclaimed "I'm not a lawyer!".

Of course, Reince immediately asked the senator- "You are a LAWMAKER, aren't you?" The good news is that the Senator did actually agree to the fact that he is indeed a lawmaker.

When Reince asked how this plan would save taxpayers money. The Senator claimed that lawmakers would make the insurance companies "cut out the shenanigans".

Shenanigans? What shenanigans specifially would the lawmakers cut?

Well, we don't know- the Senator did not exactly answer that question.

State Senator Bob Wirch actually made the problem worse for Senate Democrats, because he had no real grasp on the Healthy Wisconsin plan.

Senator Wirch is bringing his buddy, Senator Erpenbach, along with him to do an interview again today on Lenny Palmer's show. He is attempting to minimize the damage done.

So we are back to the original questions-

Did the 18 Democrats who voted for this plan, ever consider the consequences?

Did they even read it?

These are questions that both liberal and conservative Wisconsites should be asking. This is an issue that each and every person of the state will be affected by.

It is time to get serious about this. It does not help anyone when all the Democrats continue to do is spew some talking points and never actually explain the program in detail.

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