Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Exhibit A: Republican legislators ask for a review of Medicaid costs at the Joint Finance Committee, which took place last Thursday.

Exhibit B: One day after the meeting, the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance puts out what I’ll generously call a “report” (less than two pages) about the soaring costs of Medicaid.

Now I am certain it was not at all coordinated. The self-proclaimed “independent” Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance just happened to release its own report a day later. On the same topic. Within 24 hours. What an amazing coincidence.

It’s no surprise that Republicans and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance are on the same message. Too bad it’s the wrong one.

The sloppy, partisan Taxpayer Alliance report, less-than-two-pages long, fails to account for basic questions an average high-school term paper would not miss. With one passing sentence it glosses over the elephant in the room: soaring health care costs. Wouldn’t you want to know how much health care costs in general have increased over the same period? I know it would have been expected as part of a paper written at East High School.

Instead it focuses on enrollment in the plans having increased – including “the increased emphasis placed on covering children and families.” Ah ha – it is those insidious poor children that are driving up state and federal costs. And, of course, all the people who have lost their jobs during this national economic crisis are to blame as well.

The poor and unemployed are the villains -- not the skyrocketing cost of health care. Never mind that during the time period covered in this report, the state’s cost per person served – the part Wisconsin taxpayers cover – was cut in half.

And, to make matters worse the corporate-leaning Taxpayer’s Alliance decided that providing health care comes at the expense of a Democratic priority – education. No analysis on the subject, just GOP rhetoric. Forget all those corporate tax loopholes we filled this year…

Finally, nowhere did the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance conclude that our country desperately needs national health care and health insurance reform.

But of course that’s not a Republican approved talking point.