“Universal care is right for Iraq,” Thompson says
MADISON – On Monday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that former Bush Administration Secretary Tommy Thompson was ‘critical’ of historic health insurance reform that extends coverage to 172,000 uninsured residents and improves coverage for nearly 4 million Wisconsinites. But what the newspaper didn’t report was that in 2004, Thompson said universal care is right for Iraq.
From the March 3, 2004 edition of the Seattle Times:
“Fresh from a two-day weekend visit to Iraq, the Bush administration’s top health-care official defended the $950 million that will be spent to help Iraq establish universal health care.
Congressional Democrats have criticized the administration for helping Iraq to establish universal health care without doing the same for U.S. citizens.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said yesterday there are major differences between the two countries that defy simple comparisons.
“Even if you don’t have health insurance,” said Thompson, who toured medical facilities in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Tikrit on Saturday and Sunday, “you are still taken care of in America. That certainly could be defined as universal coverage.”
Last weekend, Ohio Congressman John Boccieri, an Iraq War Veteran, cited Thompson’s Iraqi efforts in a speech on the House floor announcing his own support for health insurance reform here in America.
“I’ll remind my friends on the other side (House Republicans) who voted to send (former president George W. Bush’s secretary of health and human services) Tommy Thompson to Iraq with a billion dollar checks in hand to make sure that every man, woman and child in Iraq had universal health care coverage.”
“If it’s good enough for Iraqis, it’s good enough for Americans,” he yelled. “Who are you going to stand with today?”
“Secretary Thompson fought for universal health care in Iraq,” said Mike Tate, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Now he is critical of getting the job done for the people of Wisconsin.”