October 14, 2009
O for two
By Herbert Grover
While there is still hope for meaningful health care reform, it is not too early for me to declare that I am disappointed with Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold’s leadership in the issue of a national single payer health care system.
On the Democratic Party's website they both proclaim their support. That is supposed to take care of mad dog liberals like me. But there is no other sustained public advocacy from either of them.
Feingold has enjoyed publicly funded health care since l982. Why isn’t he advocating single-payer care for all Americans? He continues to hold listening sessions throughout the state. In an election year, that could be described as campaigning at public expense. We need more than listening from Russ; we need leadership and advocacy on the health care issue. Come on Russ, show us a little profile in courage.
Kohl doesn’t have to fear insurance company money in an election. He can more than match them. Why isn’t he more public and visible on the matter? Could it be that a few years ago Herb voted to make declaring bankruptcy more difficult, when more than 50 percent of bankruptcies in America are caused by health care expenses and 63 percent of those who went bankrupt had private health insurance? Time to step up, Herb. Correct the record and help all Americans.
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I take issue with the comment about listening sessions being a campaign at public expense. Everything public an elected official does could be classified as "campaigning." A vote for something popular in his/her district would qualify. I just don't think that was necessarily a good choice of words. Isn't it better to have a Senator familiar with the entire state than the alternative?
-Jim | Black River Falls, WI | October 14, 2009
I seem to recall there was a "People's Legislature" someplace originally convened by Ed Garvey. I went to that first gathering of 1100 plus. Surely Kohl has a Madison office and the "People's Legislature" could pay Herb and Russ a visit as they did at the dollar bill and broom event on the subject of finance reform.
The problem here of course is the local Democrats not the local Republicans. I recently read a remark (paraphrasing) that 'Republican grass roots action is fake, but Democratic elitism is real.' The remark was in the context of lapsed populism and the way that term has come into ill repute.
-Lon C. Ponscock | Appleton, WI | October 14, 2009
I second the motion. Wisconsin's national representatives lack the leadership to do what needs to be done, and occasionally, more often than not lose the respect of their peers. We have senior people on powerful committees and yet we fail to balance the federal tax dollars returning to our state. RF & HK are clueless on the healthcare issue completely and its starting to show loud and clear.
-Non-Partisan | Belleville,WI | October 15, 2009