Feingold never wavered on Obamacare -- John Finkler, Middleton

November 19, 2018

A common political refrain is: “All politicians are alike and will say anything to win an election.”

The misleading 30-second TV ad only helps reinforce the distrust for candidates and elected officials. But once in awhile a politician isn’t afraid to take a stand on a controversial issue.

Such was the case with Russ Feingold.

In 2010, then-U.S. Sen. Feingold, D-Middleton, stood firm on his support for the Affordable Care Act despite vocal opposition from Republicans and his tea party opponent, now U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh. Feingold was not afraid to express his support for extending health care and protection for pre-existing conditions.

Feingold lost the election, but not his integrity.

Six years later, in 2016, when the common Republican refrain was “repeal and replace” the ACA, Feingold, now trying to regain his seat, continued to support pre-existing condition protection. Again, he lost the election, but not his integrity.

In the 2018 election, the dynamics completely changed. Health care and protection for pre-existing conditions were, according to polling, the most important issues for voters -- and this time voters strongly supported candidates who favored both. Republicans tried to backtrack on the issue faster than you can say “Obamacare.”

Feingold was unique. He never tried to mislead voters. He stood firm not once, but twice. Years later, Feingold was proven right: The ACA has helped thousands of people. For that, he should be recognized and applauded.

John Finkler, Middleton

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