Friday, July 27, 2007

Vinehout redux

I do not believe that I am a citizen journalist. I do not do much primary reporting on this blog and I believe that journalism is a profession which involves skills and disciplines that I do not have.

But I did report that Sen, Kathleen Vinehout had made a rather significant contribution to her campaign during a period of time when she claimed to be unable to pay for her health insurance or her son's appendectomy. I did that ten days ago - shortly after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel splashed Vinehout's indignation over her mistreatment across the front of its Metro section.

Although Patrick McIlheran noted the story in his blog shortly thereafter, it took the Journal Sentinel until today to write a news story about it. Any love for the Shark? Not hardly.

More importantly, we still don't really know why Vinehout and her husband didn't pay for their insurance other than that the cost of premiums went up. We still don't know why Vinehout didn't think that perhaps she ought to go out and get a job with benefits so her family would have coverage instead of working as a lobbyist and, later, running for office.

Of course, I know that some people - even if it was not Sen. Vinehout and her family - could not have paid the premiums or found such a job. I think its wrong - and politically foolish - for conservatives to stand pat in the debate over health care reform.

But, as I wrote when I broke this story (I needed to say that now because I probably will never be able to say it again), the Vinehout anecdote illustrates more than she intended. The right had its blindness over health care, but so does the left. There is this notion that unlimited health care ought to be your "right" without the requirement of any significant contribution or commitment from you. It's not possible and, in the real world, would probably not be desirable.


Dad29 said...

It is worthwhile noting that some portions of the Dem plan passed by the Senate were actually written (in part) by a Pubbie.

Yes, there's room for bi-partisan agreement on what should be done.

But that particular Pubbie also states that the Robson Plan is "too much, too soon."

Zach W. said...

There are no easy solutions to the issue of universal health care, whether you're talking about national universal health care or universal health care for all Wisconsinites, but I think it's absolutely critical that folks on both sides of the political spectrum at least start to engage in a dialogue about what can be done to start fixing the problem. Far too often some (and I stress some) conservatives are quick to dismiss any universal health care proposal without offering any counter proposals or without offering any feedback on what they think needs to be done.

And while there's no easy solution, there's also not a cheap solution either. The cold hard reality of things is that it's going to cost money to provide universal health care, no matter how that gets done, but I think folks need to start looking at the cost savings by implementing universal health care.