One Wisconsin Now conducted its 2nd Annual Progressive Issues Survey at Fight Bob Fest over the weekend. Last year the top issue was health care reform followed by the war in Iraq, education, the environment, and civil rights/liberties. This year health care reform was again picked by Fighting Bob participants as the top issue of concern. The other top issues were the war in Iraq, the environment, the economy and education.
While progressives have been pushing for affordable health care for all, conservatives have stood in lockstep against real reform and instead continue to support insurance industry-supported private Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s). Health care costs have skyrocketed and Wisconsin families are in desperate circumstances because they cannot afford the care that they need. Rather than supporting real reform that will get affordable health care for all, conservatives rely on taxpayer-financed shelters for the rich.
According to a comprehensive analysis by the federal, non-partisan Government Accountability Office, private HSAs do nothing to alleviate the health care costs of middle class families. It reports that the average annual gross income of all tax filers reporting HSA contributions was $133,000. It further shows that only 16 percent of all private HSA participants earn less than $30,000 a year, even though people with this income represent half of all taxpayers.
It is increasingly clear that conservative’s one trick pony on health care serves as little more than a tax shelter for the wealthy. Conservative’s inability to support real health care reform shows that they actually support our totally dysfunctional status quo.
One Wisconsin Now has also created “Project ‘09,” which allows participants to register the three top issues they believe need addressing.