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’Twas the week before Christmas’ at the Capitol

Helen Marks Dicks

’Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the state,

many childless adults were feeling just great.

For their medical conditions would soon get care,

and BadgerCare coverage would finally be there.

These folks were nestled all snug in their beds,

while visions of health care danced in their heads.

And me in my red shirt and AARP cap,

had just settled down for a long recess nap.

When a special session caused quite the chatter,

among lots of folks who follow the matter.

I read the announcement as quick as I could,

and noted for some the bill was not good.

It helps many parents and people on HIRSP,

but for childless adults it makes matters worse.

Good for those with three months’ longer to choose,

bad for those with three months’ coverage to lose.

And with it all happening so quietly and quick,

I knew that I needed some help from St. Nick.

The Senate would listen if he gets in the game,

he knows how to reach them, and call them by name.

“Now, Fitzie! now, Ellis! now, Grothman and Larson!

On, Cullen! on Darling! on Schilling and Olson!

You can help people with an amendment that’s small!

You can keep your promise of health care for all!”

And then, in a twinkling, St. Nick joined the quest,

I thanked him for those for whom I made the request.

I gave him a hug and a really big grin,

with St. Nick on our side we surely would win!

By amending this bill you can bring lots of cheer,

giving childless adults coverage on the first of the year.

St. Nick said with mouth drawn up like a bow,

taking care of our own is as Wisconsin as snow.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

and he wanted good things for more than himself.

He told me of Senators — he even said twice,

if they don’t give the coverage they’re on the list of “Not Nice.”

He did not chat long, but went straight to his chore,

of asking the Senators for coverage for more.

And crossing his fingers over his heart,

he said he would work for a January first start.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him proclaim as rode off in his sleigh,

“Cover them all – it’s the Wisconsin way!”


Helen Marks Dicks is the AARP Wisconsin state issues advocacy director in Madison.