Custom Search

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wisconsin Budget Fight Update: Fake Doctors Notes- Unions Vs The People Of Wisconsin And More

H/T Founding Bloggers for the video above of doctors at the Wisconsin protests offering and writing doctor notes to those in attendance to get them out of work.

With protests and counter protests in Wisconsin over the proposed budget which would force union workers to contribute more to their pensions and health care coverage, bringing them more in line with what private workers have to pay as well as limiting collective bargaining rules on the part of unions and tie raises to inflation.

Walker's proposal would still leave the state's public employees paying less than the private-sector average.

Under the governor's proposal, unions still could represent workers, but they could not force employees to pay dues and would have to hold annual votes to stay organized. Only wages below the Consumer Price Index would be subject to collective bargaining, anything higher would have to be approved by referendum

Wisconsin is running over a $3 billion budget deficit and the Republican Governor Scott Walker has promised to work towards getting the state back on a fiscally sustainable path.

In the November midterms, the voters of Wisconsin handed Republicans the majority in the Wisconsin Senate where this proposal is due to be voted on, but the Democratic members of the Senate have run away to hide out in another state to prevent a vote on Walker's budget bill.

Fourteen Democrats fled to Illinois last week to delay action on a budget bill that would effectively eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public employees. Republicans need 20 of 33 members to have a quorum to pass any spending bill but only a simple majority of 17 for other items.

It is not only the unions behind these protests but interestingly enough, Barack Obama's group, Organizing For America, has bused in 70,000 people on Saturday alone.

The Politico explains more about what is in Walker's budget plan:

Yet another element of the legislation could have even greater political consequences. The Republican would end the automatic deduction from their workers paychecks and make the unions collect the dues themselves, a move that would almost surely result in less cash flowing into labor coffers. It would block unions from collecting money from consenting wokers’ paychecks for political operations, and it would force annual elections on whether state workers even want a union, a lethal threat to public-sector labor.

More Governors who are facing their own unsustainable budgets and deficits in their own state are watching Wisconsin closely gearing up for the same type of showdown against the unions/Democrats.

“The new crop of governors is even more bold,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who was elected last year but previously served four terms in the 1980s and ’90s. “We came in with a mission. The times call for it. What government has been doing for way too long is unaffordable and unsustainable.”

Branstad, noting that he had just talked to Walker on Thursday and offered his support, told POLITICO he was anxious to reassess Iowa’s public employee benefits and had brought in an official from the private sector to examine the state’s collective-bargaining law.

“We have state employees paying nothing toward their health insurance,” exclaimed the governor with a tone of incredulity. “These are things that have to change.”

Emphasis mine.

Other Wisconsin news includes the protests and all those fake doctors notes (shown in the videos above) costing the taxpayers of the state up to $6 million.

While some have speculated that the absent teachers will see their pay docked, that may not be the case if they provide a doctor’s note. Due to collective bargaining rules currently in place, the absences could be considered excused and the teachers would be paid for their protesting.

That possibility took on added significance as the MacIver News Service broke the story Saturday that several doctors in lab coats were handing out medical excuse notes to passers by, without examining the ‘patients.’

“I asked if they were handing out doctors’ excuses and a guy said yes and asked me if I needed one,” one woman told MNS Saturday. “When I told them I needed one for February 16 and 17th, he wondered if I wanted to come back here for the protests next week.”

What happened next surprised her.

“I said, ‘sure,’ and I received a doctor’s note for the 16th through the 25th of February, without a medical exam.”

If all the teachers in Milwaukee and Madison are paid for the days missed, the protest related salaries for just the state’s two largest districts would exceed $6.6 million dollars.

Ann Althouse provides video of even more doctors trying to justifying writing out fake notes at the protests.

Amusing when she told them she thought it was just street theater and he said no, it is real!! He provides notes, takes names in case employers follow up so he can verify he saw his "patient".

Uh oh.. looks like some of these doctors may just be in trouble for their antics, according to CBS News.

The doctors also got swamped by hostile phone calls and Facebook messages from across the U.S., he said.

"We're not political activists. We were surprised at the nationwide organized vitriol that has come our way so quickly," he said. "Apparently we hit a nerve. I've been a doctor for 30 years. I kind of missed when politics got this viral, this national."

He said he and his colleagues planned to meet Sunday night to figure out how to deal with the firestorm they touched off. The consequences could extend to their employer, which said it was investigating the events.

UW Health released a statement saying it couldn't confirm whether any of its doctors were involved in writing notes. It added that any doctors who distributed such material did so of their own accord and not on behalf of the university.

"We are looking further into this matter," the statement said.

In other Wisconsin news Walker tells Obama to do his own job and decrease the federal deficit and butt out of Wisconsin's state business.

On Friday morning, Walker told Fox News: “I think we’re focusing on balancing our budget. It would be wise for the president and others in Washington to focus on balancing their budget, which they are a long ways from doing.”

The White House political operation, Organizing for America, got involved in the Wisconsin dispute on Monday.

And the president's political machine worked closely with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison, the state capital, on Thursday, The Washington Post reported.

But Walker insisted: “We’re not going to be intimidated by people coming in from outside of Wisconsin trying to tell us what we need to do to balance our budget.

“The bottom line is, we got elected to do a job.”

Read more on Wisconsin's Walker to Obama: Butt Out of State Business
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

Bottom Line:

It is easy to make promises when someone is campaigning for an election. It is easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk. Promises to limit spending and fix a state that is running billions in deficits and actually making the hard choices needed to do it are two very different things.

No state is going to have one bill, one proposal that will fix the problem of spending more than they take in, just as no one proposal is going to fix our federal deficit.

Savings here and savings there, a million in one spot, ten in another, eventually add up and start making a dent, but politicians that campaigned with promises to do just that are now faced with two choices.

Keep your promises or don't.

Scott Walker is keeping his promises and on the national scene, House Republicans need to learn from this man. He is not taking the easy way out, he is fighting to do his job and willing to take the heat for it.