We are all very familiar with the health care debate raging in our nation’s capitol and in town hall meetings across the country. The issue of whether or not the federal government should grab control of our current system and create its own socialized brand of medicine has been making national headlines for months. But, I wonder how many people remember what happened right here in Wisconsin just two years ago.
If you recall, Democrats in the Wisconsin legislature were running around the state holding public hearings touting an Obama-like government-run health care plan. For the most part, no one really knew anything about it. You may vaguely remember they had a plan, but folks are sure to be soft on the details and likely know little of the plan’s potential impact on our economy or the size of state government.
Despite minimal public input at the time, the Democrats tried to ram this through as part of the state budget. Every Democratic senator in Southeastern Wisconsin, in fact, every Democrat in the Wisconsin State Senate, voted to make their beliefs of what your health care should be, part of the last state budget.
Their plan would have implemented a tax on Wisconsin business to pay for a government-run health care model. Much like the plan being tossed around in Washington, the Senate Democrats would place your health care decisions in the hands of bureaucrats. Luckily for us, Republicans, who controlled the State Assembly at the time, were able to purge the plan from the budget. But what happened to the Democrat’s plan? Where is it now? Is it dead?
No, it’s not dead.
Democrats here in Wisconsin know the public is furious about the national plan and don’t want to take the flack their Washington cohorts are taking so they’ve decided to sit back and watch the carnage. If their friends in D.C. get the job done and force us all into a socialized health plan, then state legislative Democrats can slowly back out of the room, pretend like they had no input on the deal and come out clean as a whistle. If the national Democratic Party fails in their quest, however, look for the Wisconsin plan to be resurrected.
Despite their inactivity, legislative Democrats still believe in the government-run model. They still believe that your government should be involved in your health care decisions. They still believe businesses need to be taxed in order to pay for their employee’s health care and the care of people that don’t currently have insurance.
Their plan, or course, would be devastating to Wisconsin businesses and our economy. People without insurance from the across the Midwest and the entire country would flock to Wisconsin for free health care and businesses would move out of state as quickly as they could; taking jobs and families with them. We would have a net gain of people dependent on government and a net loss of producers, job creators and taxpayers. It would complete our state’s death spiral.
If we are really going to prevent the government from intruding into our lives and impacting personal decisions between our loved ones and our doctors, we not only have to keep up the pressure on Democrats who represent us in Washington, D.C., we have to keep up the pressure on our representatives in Madison who still believe in the socialist dream and are coyly waiting in the wings for their turn to pounce.