Thursday, October 24, 2013
We know if Scott Walker wants to be a candidate for President he COULD NOT take the federal money to expand Medicaid and create a health care insurance marketplace exchange. Doesn't matter that hospital associations thought he should, doctors associations thought he should, even religious organizations thought he should.
Over 230 organizations in Wisconsin urged Walker to take the money which would cover 175,000 additional people in the BadgerCare program and save the state $66 million in the first three years.
Twelve newspapers across the state urged Walker to do it and 20 individual Wisconsin county boards have requested to get Medicaid funds - but the Governor has to agree to let them do - and you know what his answer has been.
Even that rat-bastard, John Kasich in Ohio let Cuyahoga county get the federal funds.
As a result, over 90,000 people have been tossed off BadgerCare to buy health insurance on the open market. These are not people who make a bunch of money - just over something like $13,000 a year for an individual. So thanks for that Scooter. Their friends in neighboring states who make the same money got picked up for Medicaid instead of tossed out - because their Governor cared more about their health than becoming President.
Then, there is Walker's refusal to set up a marketplace exchange for Wisconsin residents. People here must go to the federal site - which admittedly has been problematic, even though the 24 hour call line has worked very well. States that set up their own exchanges have been enrolling thousands of people each day, while states that refused to do so lag behind.
But that's not the only downside.
Back in July, CNBC started reporting a significant trend in premiums between states that were cooperating in the ACA roll-out and states (like Wisconsin) that were not. Seems when states got involved they did a certain amount of oversight over the premiums being tossed around for plans on the marketplace - many had review boards that essentially forced insurance companies to lower their prices.
This week we now know the exact difference between insurance prices between states that embraced Obamacare and ones that didn't.
It's double. In some places even more.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin came out with a bombshell of a report this week that compared the marketplace in Minnesota and in Wisconsin - two states which are very similar in terms of income and population. Because Minnesota brought more people in to Medicaid and conducted premium reviews and Scott Walker decided to spend the summer traveling around the country raising money for his Presidential campaign, the average person in Minnesota will pay half as much for a bronze health insurance plan than his friend in Wisconsin.
Take a look:
It's a big deal - people just haven't figured it out yet and when they do - they are going to be really pissed off.
This may be the reason why Leah Vukmir and David Craig are circulating a bill which would make the creation of a health insurance exchange a legislative matter and not the Governor's decision.
Because if Scott Walker loses his job over this (or any number of new and old reasons) the evil eye of fickle Wisconsin voters won't be able to undo this nasty little maneuver with the election of a new Governor who most certainly would.
So not only is Minnesota's unemployment rate less than ours and they have created more jobs than we have, the identical health insurance plan is about half of ours. Luckily we have an entire year to let people know how Scott Walker has screwed them once again.