Statewide: As a Supreme Court ruling that could strip away health coverage from 184,000 Wisconsinites looms, Scott Walker took the time to write a column for CNN attempting to pass responsibility to President Obama for an obligation he has as Governor to protect his own constituents from harm.
It is Governor Walker, not the President, who refuses to take any common sense steps to prepare for a clearly foreseeable threat to the lives and livelihoods of tens of thousands of Wisconsinites. There is no doubt that the President would immediately sign a one sentence clarification of his signature health care law reaffirming health coverage subsidies for every eligible person in every state.
Governor Walker, on the other hand, refuses to use the authority of his office plan a potentially lethal threat. In fact, when asked by Milwaukee Public Radio earlier this week, the Walker Administration refused to comment on what they would do if the Supreme Court yanks affordable health coverage from tens of thousands of Wisconsites. Governor Walker has repeatedly implied that he would do nothing because it is not his problem.
There are simple steps Governor Walker could take to protect tens of thousands of Wisconsinites from being stripped of their health coverage:
Launch the Wisconsin health insurance marketplace that was designed during the Doyle Administration and never used. Wisconsin could also draw upon the year of planning the Walker Administration did to develop a state-based marketplace.
Designate the Healthcare.gov website as Wisconsin’s “state marketplace,” taking advantage of existing infrastructure while protecting residents as Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Hawaii have already done. Wisconsin would provide the insurance industry regulation.
Contract with other states that have a functioning state marketplace such as Minnesota or Kentucky, to run Wisconsin’s online marketplace.
Work with adjacent states such as Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan to create a Midwest regional marketplace platform that can help consumers in each state.
Governor Walker bears a special responsibility for this potential disaster because he forced tens of thousands off BadgerCare and onto the federal marketplace. In addition, many Wisconsin consumers on the health insurance marketplace have pre-existing conditions and faced shocking discrimination from insurance companies before the passage of health reform. The potential disaster would hit Wisconsin especially hard because it is a relatively high cost state for health insurance, an issue Walker has also taken no serious action to address.
“It’s Scott Walker’s moral responsibility as Governor to protect the people from a foreseeable disaster, ” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “By refusing to take simple steps to protect health coverage for tens of thousands of working families, Walker is putting at risk the lives and fundamental freedoms of people in every corner of Wisconsin."
Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 email@example.com
Kevin Kane (414) 550-8280 firstname.lastname@example.org