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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes


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 Good work from the folks at Media Trackers.


 On March 14, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a story on changes to Wisconsin’s SeniorCare program for low-income seniors. At issue is how the SeniorCare program faces cuts in the new budget that could force low-income seniors into Medicare Part D plans that could be more expensive. In the new budget SeniorCare would no longer provide full prescription drug coverage except for those with an extremely low-income and nearly no assets. SeniorCare would become supplemental coverage. But as the article explains, “how the supplemental coverage would be structured is still being worked out.”

It seems that there are plenty of things to be worked out before low-income seniors need to panic. But that doesn’t prevent reporter Guy Boulton from using the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups as his sole and primary source for information in the article.

 The Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups is a bit more than your average run-of-the-mill senior advocacy group. A look at their homepage shows a picture of the Capitol rotunda packed with protesters with an inspiring caption of “advocating for all generations.”

 Ok, so they supported the protests against Scott Walker and the Budget Repair Bill. Lots of people did.

 But further examination of their site finds a section entitled “Legislative Initiatives” featuring a slew of radical left-wing proposals for the state and federal level. A sampling of these include:


  • “Increase the state’s sales tax, including the elimination of some sales tax exemptions.”

  • “Continue to oppose a state constitutional amendment known as Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) or Taxpayers Protection Act (TPA).”

  • “Continue to support state legislation to provide more cost-effective and universal health care to Wisconsin residents.”

  • “Support state legislation to reform and strengthen Wisconsin’s campaign finance reform laws, such as public financing of our state constitutional elected offices and all legislative elected offices.”

  • “Support passage of stronger environmental protection laws…support statewide regulation of greenhouse gases (CO2) in Wisconsin.”

  • “Support legislation to provide universal health care for all people through a public option insurance pool.”

  • “Oppose making the 2001-2003 federal tax cuts permanent.”

  • “Support federal legislation that would strengthen consumer protections from banks, other financial institutions and Wall Street brokerage firms by: creating a new federal agency to police consumer lending, set up a warning systems for financial risk, force failing business firms to liquidate, and map new rules and regulations for financial institutions”


The next time that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wants to write about issues concerning seniors and healthcare, perhaps full disclosure about the agenda of the source of their information would be helpful to their readers.


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