Wisconsin’s legislators are hashing out the state’s budget, a real push-and-pull between the Democrat-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House. One of the sticking points? A $15 billion universal health-care plan, financed by a 10.5 percent payroll tax on business and a 4 percent tax on employees.
Hey, what the heck. Give it a shot Wisconsin, says ABC commentator and professional poker-of-holes John Stossel. The states are the laboratory of democracy, so experiment!
Wisconsin’s Capital Times reports that “two-thirds of Wisconsin residents support the Democratic plan — even when presented with opponents’ arguments that it would be a ‘job killer’ that could lead to higher taxes … Said Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, one of the plan’s sponsors, ‘Everything we have heard [against the plan], we put in the poll. And it still comes back at 67 percent approval.'”
That’s why America needs “Healthy Wisconsin.” The fall of the Soviet Union deprived us of the biggest example of how socialism works. We need laboratories of failure to demonstrate what socialism is like. All we have now is Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, the U.S. Post Office, and state motor-vehicle departments.
It’s not enough. Wisconsin can show the other 49 states what “universal” coverage is like.
More a Swiftian modest proposal than a serious one from Stossel, we think. The Cuban example serves all too well as the disaster produced by single-payer health care. And for goodness sakes, if you want to destroy the economy, just increase taxes by 14.5 percent. As R.J. Pirlot, director of legislative relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), testified in June, the proposal is a jobs killer.
It is axiomatic that the more the state taxes something, the less it gets of it. The ‘Healthy Wisconsin: Your Choice, Your Plan’ $15.2 billion payroll tax is a tax on Wisconsin jobs and will result in fewer jobs for Wisconsin.
And rather than complain, the WMC offers a package of positive health-care reforms, with a big focus on consumer responsibility. Good testimony (available here as a .pdf).
Still, the schadenfreudelust in us says give it a try. And then see what happens.
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