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State Senator says Branstad comparing health insurance for poor to “an open bar” is “wrong”

This news story was published on March 6, 2013.
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Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm

Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm

Personal Point by Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm of Cresco –

TRANSCRIPT: Everyone makes mistakes. I know I’ve said things I’ve regretted later. When that happens, I try to apologize as soon as possible. I try to limit the damage.

Governor Branstad, I think you need to apologize.

You need to apologize for the comment you made this morning about expanding Medicaid and providing health insurance to tens of thousands of working Iowans. This morning, you compared helping people get health care when they need it to having an open bar or a cash bar at a wedding.

That statement is just so wrong, I don’t know where to start.

Governor, I worked in a health care clinic in Cresco for 7 years. I worked with many Iowans who did not have health insurance and struggled to get health care. I will never forget one woman who came to the clinic. She had a lump in her breast.

She worked part-time and she couldn’t afford insurance. So she waited, and she waited before going to the doctor. She lived with that lump in her breast, knowing it was likely cancer, for months she had it before she came to the clinic.

She waited until she finally qualified for health care insurance. And when she did get it, it was too late.

She died, Governor Branstad. She is no longer with us.

Governor, Iowans don’t have too much health care. They don’t have enough.

There are plenty of Iowans over the age of 50, who lost their jobs in the recession, and are now hoping they don’t get sick before they qualify for Medicare.

Governor, expand Medicaid so they can go to their doctor when they are sick.

That’s all we are asking for. Let’s get serious about making Iowa the healthiest state. Obviously, we should start by try by making sure everyone has health insurance.

And you should apologize for that ridiculous cash bar remark.

Really, Governor Branstad, really?


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11 Responses to State Senator says Branstad comparing health insurance for poor to “an open bar” is “wrong”

  1. another brick in the mall Reply Report comment

    March 7, 2013 at 10:43 am

    One of the best things Republicans can do is explain how Gary and Sandy Blodgett have aged so well. Now, that’s preventative care we can learn from.

  2. Hiram Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I think Senator Wilhelm is doing a great job, and is far better the Bartz

  3. Calvin R. Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    It wasn’t so much what he said as it was the profoundly stupid way he said it.

    The reality is we cannot possibly save everyone. Something somewhere is going to have to break. Unfortunately, the only way I see this problem being fixed is a complete collapse of the healthcare system.

    Repubs would serve themselves better by showing a little compassion when discussing this topic, and as unpleasant as it may seem, adults and children will die because we cannot support everyone.

    Truth is a cold hearted bitch

  4. JBJ Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    And how many abuse the system we have now. Woman came into ER in MC with 3 kids. Flipped out state card to pay for visit. Her need? One of her kids had dry skin and if she went to store to buy she would have to pay for it. Instead she billed taxpayer a ER visit

  5. Pee Wee Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I am embaress to call this pig my state sentator we all ready got to many poor people here let them move.

    • Xylon ll Reply Report comment

      March 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      I am EMBARRASSED to have you IN my state. You are TOO dumb To put a coherent sentence together. Go back to your doublewide and have some more Bud Lite. It has wheels…move it.

  6. Xylon ll Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    It’s pretty much the Republican mindset. Only the rich deserve to be healthy and live long.

    • OMG Reply Report comment

      March 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      I like to find out what rich is. Is it anyone you envy that has more than you. If I pay 20% on my 50,000. What would someone pay if they made 300,000 and pays 20%. I respect what they make cuz those that have made it to the top in wages create more prosperity for this country than just paying their share in taxes. They pay the contractors to build that nice house, pay more in property tax. They purchase those nice cars that pays that salemens commission. They may own that business in town that supports someone in your family. I tend to want to respect more than envy!

  7. I Care Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    For funding to health insurance, let’s tax the wealthy. Most of their income is in the form of capital gains, witch is taxes at a lower rate then linear income. That is why CEO’s of most companies always have stock options (Look at the COE of Heinz’s) and not just a pay check. It is taxed at a lower rate if held of a year. I believe many of our problems in this country would be solved if the top 1% paid there fair share.

  8. LVS Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    @A Citizen-I believe the answer you are looking for in Medicaid under the Obamacare plan. It is what the rest of the country is going to. The hospitals are in favor of Medicaid instead of Iowa Works which is a low income restricted policy funded by the state. As much as I am against Obamacare I think Medicaid is a better system than Iowa Works. Under Iowa Works the low income people have to travel to three sites in Iowa, (none if them in North Iowa)for care. They do not have the resources to do that so they will just go to the E.R. like they do now and we will end up paying for it in increased medical cost. Under Medicaid they can get treatment locally and it will be Federally Funded. It is the law and fighting it at this point is a waste of time.

  9. a citizen Reply Report comment

    March 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Ms. Wilhelm – And what services are we supposed to pull money from to fund this? What should we raise taxes on, or make new taxes on to fund this? And please don’t give me any sob stories about your health care work, or the lady with cancer. It reminds me too much of the jews always throwing the holocaust card in when they wanted more aid. If you want something, be real and tell me how you would fund it. Then we could sit down and have a real dialogue. There are a lot of things I want, but until I figure out how to afford them, they are going to stay on my wish list. I applaud your caring for these people. Just take it a step farther, please.