MILWAUKEE — Health care was again the top issue on the minds of Fighting Bob Fest participants in the One Wisconsin Now Progressive Issues Survey taken at the Sunday event in Baraboo. While progressives have been pushing for affordable health care for all, conservatives have stood in lockstep against reform and instead continue to support insurance industry-supported private Health Savings Accounts.
“Health care costs have skyrocketed and Wisconsin families are in desperate circumstances because they cannot afford the care they need,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Instead of supporting real reform that will get affordable health care for all, conservatives rely on taxpayer-finance 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, including:
* The average annual gross income of all tax filers reporting HSA contributions was $133,000.
* Only 16 percent of all private HSA participants earn less than $30,000 a year. Those with this income represent half of all taxpayers.
“The evidence is irrefutable: private Health Savings Accounts will cost taxpayers and hike insurance industry profits,” said Ross. “Private HSAs are a failed approach offered by conservatives more than happy with the status quo.”
Over 300 votes were cast in the Progressive Issues Survey and in addition to health care, the strongest support came for an end to the war in Iraq, environmental protections, the economy and education.
One Wisconsin Now has also created “Project ‘09,” available at www.Project09.org, which allows participants to register the three top issues they believe need addressing.