Reality Check

Reality Check: Doyle's State Of The State Address

Doyle Gives Fifth State Of The State

MADISON, Wis. - Gov. Jim Doyle gave his State of the State address Tuesday night, and WISC-TV political reporter Colin Benedict put Doyle's speech through a "Reality Check."

VIDEO: Watch The Report

A WISC-TV analysis found that most of the speech was accurate but that a few points deserved some explanation.

"Starting next January, we'll offer every Wisconsin family -- regardless of their income -- the chance to buy coverage for their kids, starting at about $10 a month," Doyle said.

A WISC-TV analysis found this claim "needs clarification."

It's worth noting that last year, Doyle promised the same thing. In the 2006 State of the State, the governor said that every child would have access to health care by "next year." Now, he's saying that it will be available in January 2008. However, this time around, Doyle will put it into the state budget.

"My plan is straightforward and easy to navigate. One application form. One piece of paper. No cumbersome bureaucracy," Doyle said.

This also "needs clarification."

Doyle was referring to health care program red tape, which is a major problem right now. In fact, half of the uninsured children in Wisconsin are eligible for coverage but their parents haven't signed them up. Part of the problem is with the complexity of health care forms.

Doyle also promised that, if the state adopts his plan, 98 percent of people would have access to coverage -- more than any other state in the nation.

However, Massachusetts has a plan that covers 100 percent by forcing people to pay or offering free or lost-cost coverage to those who can't afford it. California is considering a similar universal plan.

On the heels of the vote on the ethics bill on Tuesday, Doyle called for campaign finance reform -- and a law to force special interest groups to abide by campaign finance laws.

"They should disclose their donors, abide by contribution limits and be forbidden from taking corporate contributions that would otherwise be illegal. Let's pass this vital reform now and clean up Wisconsin's airwaves," Doyle said.

This also "needs clarification."

There is some question about whether it is constitutional to force private groups, not candidates, to abide by spending limits or if that would be an infringement on free speech.

Also, it's worth noting that this idea would do nothing to stop negative attacks ads by the candidates themselves.

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