Wrong-Way Rod Redux

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  • 05/14/2007
We've referred to the Illinois governor by the moniker "Wrong-Way Rod" because of his stance on drug importation -- the theory being that his compass on the issue of safety was broken.

But we were wrong.

The problem is that he's using the wrong compass. Rather than relying on the Compass of Public Health, Governor Blagojevich has been using the Compass of Political Calculation.

But it seems as though that, latter compass, is broken as well.

Witness Wrong-Way Rod's most recent gambit for attention -- a proposal to fund universal government health care in Illinois via a $7.6 billion "gross receipts tax" on Illinois businesses.

As the Wall Street Journal notes in an editorial, "... a funny thing happened on this road to Canadian health care. The state's more rational Democrats revolted, arguing it would drive businesses out of Illinois."


The bigger issue is that, when it comes to health care, calls for "universal coverage," whether for insurance or medicines, sound good as soundbites -- but when people realize that "free" actually means "higher taxes" they think twice.

And this isn't even mentioning the chilling effect such schemes have on innovation.

The Democrat-controlled house in Springfield, voted down Wrong-Way Rod's proposal 107-0 ... after the Governor came out against his own idea.

It seems that Wrong-Way Rod is dealing with two compasses, both of which are broken .

As the Journal opinied, " 'Universal' government health care has once again returned as a political cause, with many Democrats believing it's the key to White House victory in 2008. They might want to study last week's news from Illinois, where Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich's tax increase to finance health care became the political rout of the year."

Important to remember for many reasons, not the least of which is to see how the Governor's friend and ally, Representative Rahm Emanuel, reacts to Blago's Dilemma.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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