When the Wagner-Murray-Dingell national health insurance bill was introduced in Congress in 1943, this was the sober response of Morris Fishbein, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association:
... it is doubtful that even Nazidom confers on its "gaulieter" Conti the powers which the measure would confer on the surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service. ("Harry S. Truman versus the Medical Lobby, Monte Poen, p. 46)
Sixty-four years later Ol Lady Owen Robinson, the WMC et al employ similarly well-reasoned attacks on Healthy Wisconsin -- although, in fairness, Healthy WI is decried not as a agent of Nazidom but as "socialist" or "socialized medicine." Though exactly how a program that continues to profit private, objectively evil health care insurance companies qualifies as socialist is less than clear.
This schtick has dominated the debate around health care reform literally for decades. But do people care any more.
A poll released last week suggests: maybe not so much.
From the findings of the survey, which explored respondents' attitudes toward a guaranteed health care program that was basically Healthy Wisconsin (the survey was conducted June 12-14 before the budget bill incorporating Healthy Wisconsin was dropped):
After hearing both positive messages and a series of negative attacks -- including claims that this will raise taxes, kill jobs, lead to government controlled health care and attract illegal immigrants -- support remains high with 66% in favor, 20% opposed and 13% undecided.
Another interesting finding: rising health care costs easily overwhelmed higher taxes, 45% to 22%, as the top economic concern of respondents.
The survey can be seen here.
Of course, a bunch of well-crafted attack ads could move the needle toward opposed. But by how much? In any event, the Brawler would suggest that raising fears that Healthy Wisconsin is the second coming of Uncle Joe Stalin won't work so well.
(Edited to refer to Capital Times story)