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The Heartland Institute contacts state and national elected officials nearly one million times a year, sending them books, policy studies, newspapers, newsletters, and more. According to a telephone survey of state legislators conducted in 2016, more than 80% said they read at least one of our publications.
Still, we were surprised when we were told that a state senator in Wisconsin actually stood on the floor of the senate and read from our latest book, The Patriot’s Toolbox, for several minutes. (Get your copy here.) We were even more surprised to learn the state senator was Kathleen Vinehout, a liberal democrat from Madison.
Sen. Vinehout accurately summarized Heartland’s recommendations for health care reform, including:
* give Medicaid recipients Health Savings Accounts,
* require drug testing for able-bodied persons applying for Medicaid
* give seniors on Medicare vouchers with which to choose care providers
* give Medicare recipients Health Savings Accounts
* allow doctors to opt out of Medicare on a per-service basis
* exempt direct primary care payment from insurance regulations
* integrate direct primary care into Medicaid
* create a dual track system for faster access to new drugs
But Sen. Vinehout doesn’t approve of (or even understand) many of these recommendations. She recites them with a tone of exasperation, and concludes, “there is something seriously wrong with the influence of this book and of The Heartland Institute on the Wisconsin legislature.”
Delightfully, the senator’s presentation was recorded. You can view our edited YouTube version below:
We are very pleased that The Patriot’s Toolbox and Heartland’s other publications are having a positive influence on the Wisconsin legislature, just as they are having in 49 other states. So thank you, Sen. Vinehout, for your fine oration!