Walker's Wisconsin – Death City

Welcome to Death City, Wisconsin. Population 261,000

Death City boasts a population very near to that of Madison (208,054). Signs at the border entrance reads: “We control our own destiny”. Death City is not a tourist stop since it has no water parks, or entertaining attractions, and the only large convention it hosts each year is that mortality2of the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association. Driving past the parks and playgrounds the most marked discovery is that each space holds a cemetery of children’s graves, next to the playground structures on which they once played. Decorative wrought iron signs mark the entrance to the playground cemetery which read: “Little Destiny”, “Free at Last”, and some of the inscriptions on the head stones are even more poignant “Mom and me together and free”, or “Adam age seven went to heaven with my sister age eleven”. One of those little ceramic ovals bare the images of Adam and Celeste from happier times.

There is a woman in her mid thirties kneeling at one of the headstones, it is said that she comes to this place every day at 3:00 p.m. but soon she will be denied this ritual. New administrative rules will go into effect soon that will deny cemetery visitation without a permit, and the permit will be limited to one visitation per person, per week. The rules were passed to limit access, since the media coverage of parents weeping over their young children’s graves was not in the best interest of a legislature with an agenda to further limit access to health care, with one Senator quoted as saying, “These children did not die as takers and were not ever sucked into the ‘give me, give me’ culture of dependency. They lie as eternal heroes to conservative ideals of individual freedom”.

The fact of Death City

Death City does not exist in one Wisconsin geographical area – but it does exist! Yes, the scene above is a fictional account of the dismal scene that might be observable if the 87,000 families, who have been eliminated from Badger Care, were found living and dying in one area. 87 thousand is a number, a concept. Concepts are easily dismissed. Concepts do not get asthma, whooping cough, or leukemia. Death City exists in Wisconsin. It dwells in the sick rooms of thousands of bedrooms and deep seated fear of injury and illness in a million flashes of thought every hour of every day. It is a large, dismal, and hopeless place for mothers listening to children cough at night, fathers looking into the eyes of a listless child, and children learning of the death of yet another classmate. Death City is real and present.

By lifting an enrollment cap, Walker’s administration said the change would open up BadgerCare to 82,000 adults without kids. But it would push 87,000 other adults, mostly parents, off of BadgerCare, forcing them to get their coverage somewhere else.WPR News

The Death City Rag

The Death City Rag sounds much more like a dirge to those fallen in a war of conceptual, political, positioning. death gopA rag is a rhythm in which the accompaniment is strict two-four time and the melody, with improvised embellishments, is in steady syncopation.

The two-four time might be marked by the words of Scott Walker:

. I care too much about the people of this state not to empower them to control their own destiny.

Or Alberta Darling:
…those pushed off BadgerCare may not like the copays they might soon be paying, but that “health care is changing.”

The improvised embellishments in steady syncopation

the parent wailing at the bedside for a lost life, the coughing fit of a child, the wheezing asthma of eight year old.

An end to the Death City Rag

The end to the Rag is so available that its continuous refrain appears little more than cruel. In most cases a situation of obvious harm to thousands of people presents problems for solution that involve money. Not the case with the Death City Rag. The money is there. The funds are available and waiting to be taped to end this funereal dirge of pain and suffering. So what’s the hold up? Why not accept the money and save thousands of people countless hours of pain and suffering? The answer: a concept, a principle, a philosophy
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet

In the landscape of Death City, the rejection of federal funds leave out coverage for 87,000 families – and here is the kicker of the bucket – it raises taxes!

The move would reject an expansion of Medicaid and the more than $600 million in federal funding that would have gone with it. State taxpayers would pay an extra $119 million compared to what they would have paid under the expansion. WPR News

People die and suffer for a political hold on a conceptual idea.

It would be funny, silly, and absurd if it were not true. All Walker has to offer, in face of Death City, is a political concept that he is, “empowering people to control their own destiny”. That’s it. The federal plan would cover more people, for less money BUT for a concept, a political ideal, a momentary blip on the screen for the eyes and ears of potential campaign donors. And, what word do these potential donors dislike, disdain, and will guarantee a move to throw 87,000 families out with the bathwater to hear besmirched? OBAMA!

Just weeks after Walker took office he was one of the first to abandon Obama’s plan for a interstate high speed rail system – for the very same reason.

We are now on a funereal slow moving train to Death City. Suffer the children for the sake of a concept.

Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

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