A Wisconsin Marketplace Could Fix This

Today, March 4th, is the beginning of oral arguments in the Supreme Court for the case King v Burwell. What's at stake with this case? The tax credits, or subsidies, for consumers in states using the federal marketplace (Healthcare.gov) that helps make healthcare affordable. Nationally, the result of a negative court ruling would mean roughly 9.6 million people being priced out of their health insurance and thus losing it, and even more squeezed by the high cost of their coverage.

Here in Wisconsin there are over 183,000 residents who receive a tax credit to make their health coverage affordable. With an average tax credit in the state $319 per person per month, the loss of these tax credits in Wisconsin would make the average monthly premium more than triple. 

Yet this whole issue could completely be avoided in one of two ways - (1) either Congress corrects the one line in the Affordable Care Act that is causing the issue, or (2) Wisconsin could create a state-based marketplace like Minnesota. State-based marketplaces are, even in the worst Supreme Court scenario, completely safe to continue receiving tax credits to provide affordable coverage. 

Sign the Letter to Gov. Walker: Don't Take My Care!

Which is why, also today, Citizen Action of Wisconsin joined Senator Kathleen Vinehout and State Representative Melissa Sargent media call (audio here) to announce a contingency plan to create a state-run marketplace and thus protect the 183,000 Wisconsinites no matter the Supreme Court ruling.

How would this impact Wisconsin at the county level?

County Total Healthcare.gov Enrollment Est. people with tax credits Annual Tax Credit Amount
Adams 800 people 712 people $2,725,580
Ashland 1,072 954 $3,651,153
Barron 2,555 2,274 $8,703,448
Bayfield 1,052 936 $3,584,675
Brown 8,068 7,180 $27,485,919
Buffalo 812 723 $2,766,490
Burnette 869 773 $2,960,809
Calumet 1,193 1,062 $4,065,359
Chippewa 3,554 3,163 $12,109,145
Clark 2,379 2,117 $8,105,150
Columbia 1,584 1,409 $5,394,911
Crawford 651 580 $2,219,328
Dane 13,103 11,662 $44,642,245
Dodge 2,594 2,308 $8,836,403
Door 1,998 1,778 $6,806,280
Douglas 1,747 1,555 $5,952,299
Dunn 1,852 1,648 $6,310,256
Eau Claire 3,969 3,532 $13,520,515
Florence 218 194 $741,481
Fond du Lac 2,933 2,610 $9,992,090
Forest 477 425 $1,626,144
Grant 1,939 1,726 $6,606,848
Green 1,196 1,065 $4,075,586
Green Lake 626 557 $2,132,396
Iowa 1,064 947 $3,625,584
Iron 650 578 $2,214,214
Jackson 917 816 $3,124,446
Jefferson 2,412 2,147 $8,217,650
Juneau 866 771 $2,950,581
Kenosha 5,331 4,745 $18,163,718
Kewaunee 878 781 $2,991,491
La Crosse 3,945 3,511 $13,438,697
Lafayette 734 653 $2,500,579
Langlade 1,099 978 $3,743,199
Lincoln 1,611 1,433 $5,486,956
Manitowoc 3,044 2,709 $10,370,501
Marathon 6,330 5,633 $21,564,301
Marinette 1,971 1,754 $6,714,235
Marquette 543 484 $1,851,145
Menominee 21 19 $71,591
Milwaukee 34,217 30,454 $116,576,091
Monroe 1,627 1,448 $5,543,207
Oconto 1,633 1,453 $5,563,661
Oneida 2,538 2,259 $8,647,198
Outagamie 5,617 4,999 $19,135,313
Ozaukee 2,895 2,577 $9,864,249
Pepin 438 390 $1,493,189
Pierce 1,390 1,237 $4,735,248
Polk 2,331 2,075 $7,941,513
Portage 3,320 2,955 $11,311,414
Price 1,093 973 $3,722,744
Racine 5,786 5,150 $19,713,157
Richland 722 643 $2,459,670
Rock 4,808 4,279 $16,379,051
Rusk 1,034 920 $3,523,311
Sauk 2,903 2,584 $9,889,817
Sawyer 2,185 1,945 $7,445,488
Shawano 1,036 922 $3,528,425
Sheboygan 1,731 1,540 $5,896,049
St Croix 3,341 2,974 $11,383,006
Taylor 1,541 1,372 $5,251,728
Trempealeau 1,244 1,107 $4,239,224
Unknown 18 16 $61,364
Vernon 1,196 1,065 $4,075,586
Vilas 1,980 1,762 $6,744,917
Walworth 3,848 3,425 $13,111,422
Washburn 1,057 940 $3,600,016
Washington 3,939 3,505 $13,418,242
Waukesha 9,834 8,753 $33,504,696
Waupaca 2,109 1,877 $7,184,691
Waushara 908 808 $3,093,764
Winnebago 5,046 4,491 $17,192,122
Wood 3,817 3,397 $13,004,036
       
Statewide 205,839 people 183,197 people $701,277,006

Source - County enrollment distribution based on Dept of Health Services June 2014 enrollment report adjusted for most recent February Healthcare.gov state enrollment numbers. Total tax credits are based on local enrollment and HHS reported average Wisconsin tax credit, annualized.

“It is political malpractice for Governor Walker not to prepare for a predictable disaster which could strip affordable health coverage from over 183,000 Wisconsinites,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “By failing to prepare a Wisconsin health insurance marketplace in the event the Supreme Court makes a damaging decision, Walker is putting at risk the lives and fundamental freedoms of people in every corner of Wisconsin.”

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