Health Care

Representative Lisa Subeck’s Statement on Republican Proposal to Limit Public Employee Access to Women’s Health Care

Lisa Subeck
MADISON – State Representative Lisa Subeck (D – Madison) released the following statement today regarding a proposal by Representative Andre Jacque (R- DePere) and Senator David Craig (R- Big Bend) that would prohibit the group insurance board from contracting for or providing abortion services, eliminating this existing women’s health care coverage for public employees.

Sabotage by Health Care Industry & Conservative Politicians True Cause of Rising Health Premiums

For Immediate Release--October 11, 2016

Contact(s): Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 [email protected]         

Kevin Kane (414) 550-8280 [email protected]

Web Link to News Release

Sabotage by Health Care Industry & Conservative Politicians True Cause of Rising Health Premiums

Blaming ObamaCare is a political gambit, not health policy

A robust public option and controlling prescription drug costs essential

Statewide: The 2017 health insurance premium rates released by the Walker Administration present an incomplete picture.

While the release of rates by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is a step forward from last year, when Wisconsin was the only state not to release premium prices in advance, the agency’s press release is silent on the causes of health insurance inflation. This silence has muddled this critical public policy question and left the door open to misleading explanations that won’t help us make health care more affordable.

Birth, Life and Death of a Bad Idea

Kathleen Vinehout
15, 2016
Birth, Life and Death of a Bad Idea
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“No one had any inkling this was happening,” Michael Blumenfeld told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We are just scratching our heads. Why would you do this?” Mr. Blumenfeld spoke for the Wisconsin Family Care Association in early spring of 2015.
The frail elderly, disabled, and their families learned the governor sought to privatize the successful Family Care and IRIS programs, handing them over to a few large insurance companies.
The birth of this idea happened in secret.
The Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary – charged with shepherding the plan through the legislative process – acknowledged to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “she learned of the proposal only when the governor’s budget was released.” Evidently her staff also knew nothing of the plan.
“None of them knew anything about this,” said Barbara Beckert of Disability Rights Wisconsin. “They are in a state of shock.”
In December 2014, the governor’s office invited advocacy groups to a meeting to discuss what they would like to see happen with the programs. Jason Endres and his spouse Julie of Eau Claire attended that meeting.
“We were never listened to,” Jason said. “The governor did a complete 180 when the budget came out.”

Health still a top political issue

Kathleen Vinehout
August 26, 2015
Health Still a Top Political Issue
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“ObamaCare must be repealed immediately,” begins Governor Walker’s health plan for America.
Recently the governor unveiled his health plan to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He chose Minnesota as the backdrop - a state whose state-based marketplace offers health premiums to families that are over three hundred dollars less a month than Wisconsin’s federal marketplace according to research by the Commonwealth Fund.
In his new plan, the governor would give states the ability to create high-risk insurance pools – something Wisconsin had and Walker repealed in his 2013 budget. If we had kept this high-risk pool for a few more years, premiums in Wisconsin – for those who buy insurance on their own or as a small business – would have likely been lower.

State Health Marketplace Needed to Protect Wisconsinites

Kathleen Vinehout
State Health Marketplace Needed to Protect Wisconsinites
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“Wisconsin has relied heavily on the exchange to expand health insurance coverage,” wrote President Eric Borgerding of the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA). In a recent letter to Legislators, he warned a looming Supreme Court decision “could strike down premium assistance.”
Many Wisconsinites are waiting to hear if they will still be able to afford their health insurance bill.
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule on the legality of health insurance subsidies for those living in states that did not create a state-based health insurance marketplace.
The WHA estimates over 180,000 Wisconsinites receive tax credit assistance from the federal government for health insurance purchased through, the federal marketplace. That is roughly like the population of Green Bay and Racine losing an average of almost $3,800 a year.

Two-Face Walker disses "Obamacare" but grabs up $69 million in federal funding from it

Reuters news service in a dispatch today cites Gov. Scott Walker as among Republican governors and presidential hopefuls who seek to dismantle the Affordable Care Act while sucking tens of millions of dollars from the "Obamacare" federal funding teat -- $69 MILLION, in Wisconsin's case. Wow. What a terrible law. KA-CHING!

Re Scott Walker's supposedly excellent health care plan: WHOOPS! We told you so.

The State of Wisconsin has now 'fessed up and told us that nearly 70% (roughly 54,000) of low-income residents whom Scott Walker dropped from BadgerCare health coverage did not -- as Walker suggested would happen -- purchase health insurance through the federal affordable care marketplace.

Comes as no surprise, because anyone with a calculator and an honest approach to the issue knew months ago that most of those who, thanks to Walker, are bereft of BadgerCare couldn't afford the private plans offered through the marketplace. Indeed, they have so little income they wouldn't qualify for the federal subsidies that make it affordable. But Walker claimed great success in advance, anyway.

I posted this here back in May:

My Obamacare story - in brief

I feel I really need to say something about this, even though it is by and large a private matter.  I have for several years been on the state-run HIRSP insurance program because I have a chronic (not serious, but chronic) health problem, and have been uninsurable through a private policy.  Since I'm self-employed, I need to insure myself. The HIRSP plan was a godsend for me, since it allowed me to have health insurance and allowed me to have a premium that I could (just barely) afford.  So I was, understandably, a little nervous when HIRSP was dropped at the beginning of the year, in lieu of having us all sign up on the health care exchange.  Change is always a little frightening.

I'll admit it.  Signing up on the health care exchange was at first a nightmare.  It was every bit as bad as everyone was saying, and I finally gave up, figuring it had to get better after a while (even though since it was clearly my only choice, I really wanted to know what was going to happen to my insurance.


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