Everyone understands that each state has more conservative and more liberal areas in it, but it never ceases to amaze me just how different two politicians from one state can be — especially when it’s a “purple” state, where candidates with higher aspirations are expected to come make pitches to all sides.
One of the best examples has to be Wisconsin. Some of the most high-profile — and hard-core conservative — Republicans have come from the Badger State, most famous among them Senator Joe McCarthy, who led the red scare in the 1950’s, accusing and blacklisting socially liberal public figures and branding them as Communists and socialists — the Russian kind, not the ones who built America, although he sought to associate the good ones with the bad.
But more modern examples have us looking at the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, who of course opposes everything good for the working poor, the middle class, or anyone who isn’t a supporter. There’s Senator Ron Johnson, who claimed for about five minutes to have proof that there was an FBI informant spying on the Trump campaign (before walking back the claim in disgrace).
On the other side of the coin, there’s liberal champion Russ Feingold, who formed such a bond with the late Senator John McCain that he convinced him to draft a campaign finance reform bill together in an effort to get big money out of politics.
But Senator Tammy Baldwin has carried the Democratic torch in Wisconsin since Feingold left the capitol, and she’s no slouch when it comes to liberal causes herself.
The discharge petition she submitted to the Senate forced a vote on her resolution that would have solved something Donald Trump promised to address during his campaign for the presidency — something he very unceremoniously reversed himself on: Pre-existing conditions, and how and whether they should be covered by insurance companies under federal rules.
When Trump was busy making promises to voters who loved the new rules under Obamacare but hated the name Obama, he basically told them that if they let him and the GOP repeal the ACA, they could keep all the good parts of it that they liked. Gone would be the mandate, and in its absence, they would be left with puppies and kittens and insurance policies their children could stay on until they were 27… And coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The GOP made quick work of that, thanks to some hefty campaign contributions from the insurance industry — where are Russ Feingold and John McCain when you need them? — and chucked that coverage out the window. Trump expanded federal allowances for so-called “junk plans” that cover little but cost little and make Republicans look like they’re not taking away healthcare from quite as many people.
Senator Baldwin, however, wanted them on record. If you’re going to take away coverage for a woman who, for example, has ever taken birth control for acne (yes, that’s considered a pre-existing condition), then you should be made to stand by your vote.
On October 10, they voted.
Every single Republican Senator except Susan Collins — perhaps in a desperate attempt to make herself look a tiny bit less villainous after her betrayal to women in the Brett Kavanaugh affair — voted down Senator Baldwin’s resolution.
In a statement before the vote, Baldwin said,
The Trump Administration is rewriting the rules on guaranteed health care protections that millions of Americans depend on. These junk insurance plans can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and don’t have to provide essential health services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits and maternity care. Anyone who says they support health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions should support this resolution. This is an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to protect people’s access to quality, affordable health care when they need it most.”
The Republicans went on record, and just before the midterms, at that: They don’t care if your pre-existing condition is covered. I tend to think along the lines of this tweeter:
I sure hope this makes its way into Democratic ads. https://t.co/NgTy5WuVOf
— PR Lodestar (@PR_twit) October 10, 2018
Featured image via screen capture