Sunday, February 24, 2013

Walker scheme feeds the private health care gravy train

Congratulations Kitty Rhoades? This is another highly partisan political appointment, where a former longtime state assembly Republican is rewarded for loyalty.

Scott Walker doesn’t hide the fact that he wants the unemployed and working poor to pay into the for-profit private sector health insurance industry. That’s why he likes Kitty Rhoades, who thinks the poor have a secret stash of money in their “entertainment envelope.”

Back in August 2012, I wrote about Kitty’s outrageous comments about supposedly “preserving access to Badgercare” Sound familiar? Sure, because Paul Ryan wants to preserve Medicare too:
Heartless to the nth degree, "Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Kitty Rhoades says the state hopes to preserve access to BadgerCare for as many people as possible by increasing cost sharing." Great question from Upfront's Mike Gousha:
Rhoades: "When I was a kid, my parents budgeted by the envelope system. You cashed your paycheck, you put how much was due for the know when you then had to make discretionary decisions, you went to the entertainment envelope first." 
Crass. Just as sickening, look at how the mental health care industry, thanks to the gun debate, began falling all over itself in anticipation of emptying all those "entertainment envelopes:"
Mental Health America of Wisconsin Congratulates Sec. Kitty Rhoades on her Appointment ... Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force Welcomes Appointment of DHS Secretary Rhoades ... BPDD CONGRATULATES NEW DHS SECRETARY KITTY RHOADES, Disability Rights Wisconsin Congratulates Newly Appointed Dept. of Health Services Sec. Kitty Rhoades ... The Wisconsin Hospital Association congratulates newly-appointed Kitty Rhoades.
Yea, fewer supposed vacations for the poor. Yea, taxpayer money is coming soon. But health care is not a consumer product. When we find ourselves sick in the hospital, we’re not approached by a team of waiters offering a menu of choices, price points and daily specials. We may not even be in the condition to care.

Rhoades' goal, like Scott Walker’s, is to take whatever money the poor can scrape up and give it to the private, for profit sector, under the guise of weaning people off "government handouts." In the words of Walker’s own press release:
Rhoades has received numerous awards from advocacy groups ... including her support for the development of consumer driven programs.
 And that's root of the problem. Health care is not a consumer driven program.

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