MacIver News Service | February 9, 2018
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON, Wis. – What happens when a gaggle of liberal candidates for governor gets together to discuss health care policy at a game show-style forum?
They all try to out-liberal each other, of course.
Left-wing ideas of government-controlled health care, forced medical residencies and dour warnings that Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s policies will kill people abounded at the recent Democrat candidates forum in Milwaukee, sponsored by left-wing coalition Citizen Action of Wisconsin and other liberal front groups.
The event featured 10 of the approximately 7,000 Democrats looking to unseat the two-term Republican governor – from top state education bureaucrat Tony Evers and former state Democratic Party chair Matt Flynn to Cross Plains hair salon owner Michele Doolan and 25-year-old Stanford graduate and failed California congressional candidate Bob Harlow.
Those expecting an even-keeled discussion were quickly disabused of that notion. The format of the forum – loosely patterned after the gameshow “Jeopardy” – opened the door for an abundance of big-government apologist hyperbole.
Flynn joined his fellow Democrats in defending the failure that is the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. But Flynn went an unhinged step further, asserting that Walker’s health care policies and his rejection of “free” federal Medicaid money will have deadly consequences.
“The truth is, what he’s done is partially neglect and it’s also partially just eliminating certain services and he’s saying he’s saving money by doing that. People are going to die as a result of what he does,” Flynn said, turning the same gloom-and-doom talking points pushed by national Democrats on everything from Obamacare repeal to tax cuts.
Flynn hints at a conspiracy theory that apparently involves the Republican Party and anybody who values voter integrity and fiscal constraint. Oh, and Flynn contends, Walker and his fellow Republicans hate poor people.
“They got poor people not to vote through voter suppression. The more effective way is not all of them survive. So that’s what’s happening,” Flynn said to laughter from his fellow libs. “This is not a constituency that they represent and they don’t care about them.”“They got poor people not to vote through voter suppression. The more effective way is not all of them survive...” said Dem candidate for governor Matt Flynn to laughter from his fellow libs. #wiright #wipolitics Click To Tweet
The candidates spent a lot of time gushing over the Dems’ latest big government bad idea: BadgerCare for All.
The idea is that Wisconsin’s government-run health insurance plan for the poor should be extended to any resident, regardless of income bracket. It’s the usual liberal utopian plan that can’t be bothered by the facts. And the fact, from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, is that BadgerCare for All would be an unmitigated disaster for Wisconsin taxpayers and for the consumers in the system.
To summarize LFB’s warning: the more people on BadgerCare, the fewer providers will accept it because reimbursement rates from the government are so low. That means decreased access to health care for the state’s most vulnerable populations.
“These [Medicaid] reimbursement rates are generally well below rates paid by commercial health care plans, which likely has the effect of restricting the number of medical providers who are willing to participate in the program, as well as the extent of their participation,” warned Jon Dyck, LFB supervising analyst, in a memo last year.
But real-market realities are for heartless conservatives, or so say the new generation of socialized medicine pushers.
The same holds for the constitution.
Evers, in proposing his fix to a health care professional shortage in the Badger State, suggested mandatory physician residencies – constitutional basic rights be damned.
“I believe the state of Wisconsin, and we can do this relatively easily, we should provide subsidies to any physician when they go into their residency that they have to serve time in an urban hospital,” Evers said. “We need to subsidize and, in some cases, compel and direct residencies and have people in residencies for physicians.”
Of course, nothing says individual liberty like the government telling people where they can and cannot work.Gov candidate Tony Evers wants to 'compel and direct' physicians into residencies at urban hospitals. Of course, nothing says individual liberty like the government telling people where they can and cannot work. #wiright #wipolitics Click To Tweet
Beyond health care, the Dem gubernatorial candidates took some time to explore the power of “green energy.” That is, legalizing the production and sale of marijuana – increasingly a political go-to issue for liberals on the campaign trail.
To critics, these pot-pushing candidates may be just blowing smoke, but many in the crowded field believe in the magic potential of legalized weed.
Former state Rep. Kelda Roys, a Madison Democrat, insists legalizing marijuana would be a step “towards helping end mass incarceration.”
Mahlon Mitchell, firefighter union chief and failed Dem candidate for lieutenant governor during the 2012 recall election, sees green in taxing legalized marijuana sales. Doing so, Mahlon asserts, will help attack the “real crisis,” the opioid and heroin epidemic.
“So, we have a lot of work to do in this state. The first is making sure we decriminalize marijuana right away and then move to actually make it legal, um, recreationally and medicinally, and using that money for the real crisis, and that is the opioid effect …” Mitchell said.
In this showcase of socialism, the default position of the forum Democrats was government-mandated wage increases and increased regulation on just about everything. And the core, disconnected belief that throwing more and more taxpayer money at “free” government programs will spur business expansion and create high-paying jobs.
“Government should advocate for the people and we should stack the market for them,” said Doolan, the Cross Plains Hair salon owner. “We need to use BadgerCare more. This will create competition with the insurance companies so they have to lower prices. Patients should all be paying the same price.”
MacIver News Service’s Jake Lubenow contributed.