Campaign Confidential

Prescription for Health Care: Dr. Kagen Is In (And Wants You to Know It)

By Jennifer Siegel

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Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin – a doctor who focused on health care during his 2006 run against Republican Assembly Speaker John Gard – is blogging about the issue on TPMCafe this week.

Since taking office, Kagen seems to have styled himself as something of a Democratic Bill Frist. (Announcing on Daily Kos, for example, that he had refused the health insurance offered to all members of Congress.)

At the same time, Kagen’s own bio and current policy suggestions perhaps belie the populist image he is working so hard to project.

Before running for office, Kagen, an allergist, founded four for-profit clinics in Wisconsin. During the campaign, the GOP dredged up news about a lawsuit he once brought against a patient who did not pay his bills.

Now in Congress, Kagen is speaking out against “Big Insurance,” and calling for health care help for Americans in need, while also assuring the American Medical Association that he is against “socialized” medicine.

It kind of makes me wonder if Kagen will wind up fielding any questions about Alex Berenson’s recent piece in The New York Times. Berenson argues that doctors’ salaries, and the way they are compensated, are a significant part of America’s health care headache.


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