Remember "Healthy Wisconsin?" Even Democrat Ruth Page Jones in the 97th Assembly district is not campaigning on it. In their latest newsletter, Wisconsin Club for Growth tries to explain what happened to Healthy Wisconsin.
Jumping ShipHealthy Wisconsin was supposed to be the centerpiece of the 2008 election. That’s why Democrats, public employee unions and other liberal special interests banded together last year to advocate for the $15 billion government run health care plan. They promoted the plan at public forums statewide and organized a campaign to get advisory referenda in support of government guaranteed healthcare on the ballot in 20 Wisconsin communities.
Healthy Wisconsin passed the Democratic State Senate on a strict party line vote last year, but as details of the plan came to light, State Senators in swing districts started backing away from the plan which was ultimately stripped from the budget by the Republican Assembly.
Both the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau and The Wisconsin Legislative Council issued memoranda stating that the plan would cover illegal immigrants. People who do not work or live in Wisconsin would also qualify for coverage in many cases.
In recent weeks, candidates who previously expressed support for Healthy Wisconsin are now jumping off the bandwagon like rats from a sinking ship. As their opponents and independent issue groups educate the public about their support for the plan, these candidates have engaged in an all out effort to deny facts, destroy evidence, and discredit their critics. To that end, candidates have gone as far as to remove or alter information posted on their campaign websites, complained bitterly to the mainstream media about untrue attack ads, and tried to intimidate television and radio stations into pulling advertising from the airwaves.
See some recent examples of Assembly Democrats distancing themselves from the plan here.
It’s quite obvious Assembly candidates are jumping off the Healthy Wisconsin bandwagon in the final weeks of the election. The real question is why Assembly leaders ever allowed them to get on board in the first place. Perhaps this is why the Democrats’ buddies on the Government Accountability Board are looking to silence political speech – telling the truth about candidates’ positions on Healthy Wisconsin hurts the cause of a Democratic majority in the Assembly. Maybe issue advocacy really does affect, um, issues.