Friday, March 14, 2014

In WI, Cancer Patients Need Better Meds, Lobbying

The Journal Sentinel reports that some Wisconsin cancer patients can't get a vote scheduled on a drug coverage bill opposed by insurance companies because of procedural roadblocks  - - including the scheduling of phantom hearings - - thrown up as the session ends by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, (R-Juneau).

What these cancer patients and their cash-strapped families didn't understand is that they needed more juice, better access and hands-on experience in and around the State Capitol to get Fitzgerald's ear.

The health insurance industry fighting the bill is working with lobbyist Jeff Fitzgerald, Scott Fitzgerald's brother and a former Assembly bigwig, the newspaper notes.

Savvy suitors looking for hookups with this Legislature and administration know the inside game is everything. that to get what you want it's best to be smack dab in the bill-drafting process itself, as was the iron mining company with the reported help of Sen. Fitzgerald.

Or as was arranged by GOP State Rep. Joel Kleefisch - - husband of the Lieutenant Governor - - who allowed a big Republican donor to help write a self-interested bill designed to cut some potential divorce settlement payments.

Succeeding with these legislators, leaders and administration is all about whom you know, which closed door to work behind, and what's the best route to make sure a hearing is hurried or cancelled, a bill phrase gets inserted or deleted, or a budget amendment magically finds its way into the document at the last moment.

Hey, one thing can lead to another and your wetland property can instantly win legal status as a development's basement, and even your retired Dad might end up head of the State Patrol thanks to a new Gov. Walker in office and sending signals for just a few weeks.

In Wisconsin, 2014 - - or as we say around here, year three Of The Great Special Interest Coup - - cancer treatment isn't only a matter of medicine, just as wetlands protections and public water rights and mining run-off prevention aren't necessarily matters of public health and safety.

In Wisconsin, you have to have the Right political prescriptions to get the public health care and private medical treatments you need.


Anonymous said...

Walker could resolve this cancer bill in a heartbeat. Fitz didn't do this on his own. He's following orders from the man in the governor's office with all the power and all the money. We know the insurance industry is telling him how they want this played.......say nothing and delay. Since ALL THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS HAVE GONE MUTE WE KNOW THEY HAVE BEEN TOLD TO FALL IN LINE AND SAY NOTHING! When Republican co-sponsors, authors and supporters make no outcry about Fitz's actions the game is on. Vos is providing cover by saying there is not enough support in the Assembly. He like Fitz and Walker hold out both hands and a pail for donations. These three heartless and spineless politicians have no moral compass and must be removed from office. This is the most painful case of pay for play legislation, even though all the other stuff they foisted upon this state has been bought and paid for by donor dollars. Walking all over the disadvantaged is bad enough but when you kick cancer patients when they're down that is reprehensible beyond description.

Gareth said...

In this one incident we see multiple layers of corruption revealed, first the revolving door between political office and a shake-down lobbying career, then the institutional corruption of for-profit corporate healthcare and finally the moral corruption of Walker, Fitzgerald and Vos. This is truly the most shameful act they have yet committed, as people will undoubtedly suffer and die for the greed of these sociopaths.