Newly Minted State Representative Who Filed Bankruptcy Over Unpaid Medical Bills Casts Her First Vote to Strip Health Care From 83,000 Poorest Wisconsinites

Shocking Lack of Empathy for Those Less Fortunate'

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MADISON, Wis. — On her first official day as a State Representative, Jessie Rodriguez cast her vote to strip eligibility for health insurance from an estimated 83,000 Wisconsinites at or below the federal poverty line, currently $11,490 for a single individual. Adding to the shocking lack of empathy for those less fortunate displayed by Rep. Rodriguez with her vote is that she and her husband declared bankruptcy in 2006, in part due to significant, unpaid medical bills.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “On her first day in office, Rep. Rodriguez displayed a truly shocking lack of empathy for those less fortunate than her by, in the midst of the holiday season, voting to strip eligibility for health insurance from 83,000 of the poorest Wisconsinites.”

According to media reports, Rodriguez declared bankruptcy in 2006 in large part due to unpaid medical bills. Court filings indicate she and her husband, conservative blogger Aaron Rodriguez, had over $40,000 in unpaid medical bills and over $30,000 in credit card debt, much of it attributable to other medical costs.

Ross noted that perhaps Rep. Rodriguez’s lack of empathy for the working poor was molded by her campaign experience. Rodriguez benefitted from significant spending from outside corporate aligned special interest groups run by disgraced former Assembly Republican Speaker Scott Jensen.

In addition to voting for Gov. Walker’s plan delaying eligibility for health insurance to an estimated 83,000 Wisconsinites making less than 100% of the federal poverty level, Rodriguez voted against an alternative to save state funds and expand health insurance eligibility in Wisconsin.

“Rep. Rodriguez’s own experience with the devastation an unexpected, uncovered medical emergency can wreak on a family apparently wasn’t enough to give her an iota of sympathy for the plight of her fellow Wisconsinites who need health insurance,” concluded Ross.

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.