Updated - "More than two-thirds of GOP senators and four-fifths of the state Senate now publicly support a bipartisan bill (Senate Bill 300) to help cancer patients get critical treatments, but the measure is still being blocked by the head of that house," report Jason Stein and Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Unfortunately for Wisconsin cancer victims Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau, Wisconsin) has decided what the insurance industry wants is more important than what people suffering from cancer and their families wish.
Fitzgerald, like his fellow Republican Scott Walker, has an instinct to lie when presented with a legislative action selling out the Wisconsin people, in favor of special interests.
So, Fitzgerald has been offering a range of excuses of why he had to stop the bill "requiring oral chemotherapy drugs to be covered the same way as IV treatments," despite overwhelming support.
Fitzgerald offered the lame excuse (an outright lie) that the bill did not have the support of the GOP Senate caucus, so he had to block a vote.
Stein and Marley did a whip (head) count and "Fitzgerald dropped that reason Friday after the Journal Sentinel gave his aides a list showing that a majority of GOP senators now publicly support the bill."
This move to block chemo treatments is qualitatively different than the usual Republican obstruction and GOP pandering to special interests in return for money.
This is because cancer is a horrible affliction, and millions have suffered with family and friends who have died or are dying from cancer.
Faced with overwhelming public sentiment against Fitzgerald's scheme, even Mary Burke, the muted Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate issued a statement:
Mary Burke, said as governor she would sign the bill "as soon as it reached" her. "This should be an easy, common sense decision. Unfortunately, it seems like once again we see special interests taking precedence over the needs of the people of Wisconsin,' she said in a statement."Way to go, Burke campaign; it speaks. Maybe Burke will issue another statement next month too.
As for Scott Walker; Walker is pretending he's not sure yet if he will sign or veto the legislation, report Stein and Marley:
Gov. Scott Walker has heard more about the chemotherapy proposal in recent days but is focused on his "worker training bill and his Blueprint for Prosperity" — the governor's $541 million tax cut bill, spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said. He will consider the chemotherapy measure "when and if" it reaches his desk, she said.Walker evidently has trouble focusing simultaneously on worker training, his "Blueprint for Prosperity" and the merits of denying the Wisconsin people chemo pills to save their lives.
It is likely, cancer being cancer, as Walker considers and thinks, Fitzgerald obstructs and other Republicans go along with this charade, Wisconsin will be hearing more about chemotherapy pills and why GOP politicians want to block this life-saving treatment.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's piece includes a list of all Wisconsin legislators' public position on this issue, with the email addresses and phone numbers of:
- Democrats for the bill
- Republicans for the bill
- Republicans against the bill
- Republicans who have not stated their positions