U.S. Supreme Court Threatening Health Care of Millions


For Immediate Release–March 2, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 [email protected]

U.S. Supreme Court Threatening Health Care of Millions

Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions, marketplace health insurance, at grave risk of having coverage taken away by right-wing federal judges

Statewide: Today the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case being pushed by the Trump Administration that could take health care away from millions of people in America. The court will take oral arguments in October, and likely rule in early 2021, on a case that seeks to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). The timing cynically capitulates to the Trump Administration’s politically-motivated request to move until after the 2020 election what would be one of the most unpopular decisions in American history.

In December, a Republican dominated Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in favor of the Trump administration in Texas vs. United States, striking down the ACA’s individual mandate. President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr are using the case as a vehicle for invalidating the entire ACA, including the popular protections against pre-existing condition discrimination.

If the ACA was struck down the following provisions would be eliminated from federal law:

      • Guaranteeing coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, impacting an estimated 852,000 to 2.436 million Wisconsinites.
      • Prohibition of price discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions. In Wisconsin, without this protection a patient with a pregnancy could be charged $17,060 more, and someone with metastatic cancer could be charged $140,510 more.
      • Free coverage of preventative care such as mammograms and colonoscopies for 2,804,258 Wisconsinites.
      • Mental health parity.
      • Prohibition of gender discrimination in coverage and pricing.
      • Prohibition of age discrimination in pricing, the so-called “age tax.”
      • Prohibition of lifetime and annual care limits.
      • Protections against junk health care plans by requiring that all essential health benefits be covered.
      • Substance abuse coverage.
      • Resources and funds to hold insurance companies accountable to regulation.

In addition, 153,000 Wisconsinites would have their health coverage taken away if the ACA was struck down, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute.

Citizen Action is urging lawmakers to codify the ACA’s consumer protections and health insurance regulations in state law to protect Wisconsinites in the event of a damaging U.S. Supreme Court decision. Senate Bill 37, sponsored by Sen. Jon Erpenbach, is a huge step in this direction. Citizen Action is also urging lawmakers to create a plan, triggered by an adverse court decision striking down the ACA, to replace marketplace plans for people who buy insurance on their own and the federal subsidies that make them more affordable.

“The nullification of the ACA by right-wing judges is a predictable human-made disaster that would wreak havoc with the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “We urge state lawmakers to take action to put the popular federal protections against pre-existing condition discrimination and other insurance industry abuses in state law, and beyond the reach of activist federal judges.”

 

Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive


For Immediate Release: January 29, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 [email protected]

Citizen Action endorses Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive

Announces more key endorsements in Milwaukee area spring elections

Milwaukee: Today Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a statewide membership group headquartered in Milwaukee, announced its endorsement of state Senator Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive. Additional spring election endorsements we would like to highlight include candidates in three key Milwaukee Common Council races: State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa in the 8th district; Marina Dimitrijevic in the 14th district; and Fred Royal in the 7th district.

In the hotly contested Milwaukee County Executive race, Citizen Action members and board leaders decided that Senator Larson, who is a Citizen Action member, made the strongest and most comprehensive case for bold reform of county government. “Chris Larson would be the first progressive Milwaukee County Executive in modern history,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Local Citizen Action members are particularly excited about Senator Larson’s strong support for using the power of county government to address the climate crisis in a way that provides living wage jobs for people currently locked out of economic opportunity.”

While we are endorsing Larson, Citizen Action members also were impressed with Milwaukee County Executive candidate State Representative David Crowley, and believe he would also be a solid progressive leader for Milwaukee County.

In the 14th Common Council District, Citizen Action is endorsing Marina Dimitrijevic. “As our County Supervisor, Marina Dimitrijevic has led the way to reduce the county’s environmental footprint,” said Kraig. “She authored Milwaukee County’s Greenprint and her plan to eliminate forever plastics will make an enormous impact in keeping our waterways clean. At City Hall, I know she will be a partner in our efforts to win a Milwaukee Green New Deal which dramatically reduces community-wide greenhouse emissions and creates family supporting jobs for those who need them most.”

In the 8th Common Council District, Citizen Action is endorsing State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, who is a member of our board of directors. “In this majority people of color southside district we believe JoCasta will do a tremendous job of bringing the diverse voices of the area to City Hall,” said Kraig. “We also believe that Zamarripa will be a strong progressive leader who will fight for Citizen Action’s climate and racial equity agenda.”

While Citizen Action is endorsing JoCasta Zamarripa, members and board leaders concluded that her opponent Justin Bielinski is aligned with our values, and also would be a positive voice at City Hall.

Citizen Action also made endorsements in a number of other Milwaukee Common Council and County Board races, as well as the Milwaukee Comptroller and Wauwatosa mayoral races.

Milwaukee area endorsements 

  • Milwaukee County Executive
    • Chris Larson
  • Milwaukee Comptroller
    • Alex Brower
  • Wauwatosa Mayor
    • Dennis McBride

City of Milwaukee Common Council

  • District 5
    • Nikiya Dodd
  • District 7
    • Fred Royal
  • District 8
    • JoCasta Zamarripa
  • District 11
    • Peter Burgelis
  • District 14
    • Marina Dimitrijevic

Milwaukee County Board

  • District 1
    • Liz Sumner
  • District 2
    • Sequanna Taylor
  • District 12
    • Sylvia Ortiz-Velez
  • District 15
    •   Eddie Cullen

The Primary Election is Tuesday, February 18th and the General Election is Tuesday, April 7th.

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Citizen Action endorses Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky for Supreme Court


For Immediate Release: January 29, 2020
Contact: Robert Kraig (414) 322-5324 [email protected]

Citizen Action of Wisconsin endorses Fallone and Karofsky for WI Supreme Court race

Milwaukee: In the critical Wisconsin Supreme Court race, Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s board voted to endorse both Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky.

After interviews which included members from across the state, Citizen Action member and board leaders concluded that both would be independent judges who will fairly interpret and apply the law for everyone, regardless of their race, their income, or where they live. Their judicial integrity is in sharp contrast to the current Supreme Court that regularly twists the law to rubber stamp the priorities of a single political party, and caters its decisions to the interests of the rich, the powerful, and the well connected.

“Both Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky would make excellent and impartial Wisconsin Supreme Court justices who give every case a fair hearing and render decisions based on rigorous legal interpretation not ideology,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Fallone or Karofsky would be a breath of fresh air on a Supreme Court where the majority regularly puts politics and ideology ahead of the fair interpretation of the law. Does any fair minded person doubt that the Supreme Court majority would have struck down the lame duck session laws, if the shoe was on the other foot and a newly elected Republican governor’s power were curtailed by a Democratic Legislature?”

Citizen Action is a statewide membership group with chapters (organizing co-operatives) in Metro Milwaukee, Green Bay/Fox Valley, Wausau, Eau Claire, and the Driftless Area. Citizen Action’s top issues are health care reform, a just climate transition that creates living wage jobs for communities of color and rural regions that need them most, and protecting and expanding our democracy. Citizen Action was a lead plaintiff in the federal lawsuit that struck down Governor Walker’s restrictions on early voting, and the lame duck session attempt to restore this attack on democracy.

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Citizen Action of Wisconsin 2020 Regional Field Organizer

Job Description: Citizen Action of Wisconsin 2020 Regional Field Organizer

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is seeking to hire 2020 Regional Field Organizers (RFO) beginning as soon as
January 27th of 2020. This position is full-time salaried (40-50 hours per week on avg), and temporary. The
position is guaranteed through April 7th, 2020 with the possibility of extension through November 2020,
pending funding. The Regional Field Organizer will report directly to the Statewide Field Director. This position
will include frequent in-state travel, and some overnight stays, thus applicants must have unlimited access to a
reliable vehicle and be able to provide a valid driver’s license and proof of liability insurance upon hire.
We are currently looking to hire Regional Field Organizers in the following regions. Preference will be given to
applicants who currently live in or near these areas, however applicants who are willing to temporarily relocate
will also be considered:
● La Crosse/ Coulee Region
● Northcentral Wisconsin (Marathon, Portage, Lincoln, etc..)
● Fox Cities
● Eau Claire/Chippewa Valley Region
● Southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha area)
Citizen Action of Wisconsin is an issue and electoral focused non-profit organization committed to achieving
social, racial, gender, economic, and environmental justice. We are dedicated to achieving a Wisconsin and an
America where every human being has an equal opportunity to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Citizen
Action of Wisconsin brings together thousands of activists and allied groups across Wisconsin to deepen
democratic participation and create an issue environment that advances a progressive public policy agenda.
More information on current Citizen Action of Wisconsin programs can be found at citizenactionwi.org .
The Regional Field Organizer will hit the ground running in January to implement an issue and electoral deep
canvass program in one of five regions of the state. This deep canvass program will incorporate voter
registration, issue identification, race class narrative messaging, and other cutting edge components into an
electoral turnout program. The RFO will work with the Statewide Field Director to conduct recruitment, hiring,
training, ongoing development, and day to day supervision of canvassers. Additionally, the RFO will work with
regional Co-op Organizers and staff to implement a lead generating and follow-up program with contacts made
in the field, as well as mobilizing existing members and volunteers.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity employer, and individuals from communities of color,
veterans, individuals with disabilities, individuals from the LGBTQ3 community, formerly incarcerated
individuals, and women are all strongly encouraged to apply.
Primary Responsibilities:
● Work with Statewide Field Director to implement, experiment with, track, evaluate, and tweak a deep
canvass program that advance strategic goals to ensure successful completion.
● Assist Statewide Field Director with recruitment, hiring, and ongoing day to day supervision and
professional development of 1-5 canvassers.
● Spend 20-30 hours a week on average knocking doors in the field and 5-10 hours a week on average
making phone calls for volunteer mobilization, utilizing the Voter Activation Network (VAN/Mini-VAN)
and other technological tools to implement and track field activities and generate project reports as well
as embrace and effectively utilize new communications technology, working within Citizen Action’s
cutting-edge social networking and web technology programs to augment on-the ground organizing
activity.
● Work with regional Co-op Organizers and Program Staff to identify and develop activists and volunteers
to participate in the deep canvass program and other activities, and provide training for those
volunteers and activists to participate in the deep canvass program and other activities specific to
Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
● Work with Statewide Field Director to conduct daily, weekly, monthly, interim, and post project
reporting for internal use and for funders via daily check ins and weekly team meetings..
● Work with organizational management to create and maintain office, team, and organizational culture
that is equitable and inclusive for all people.
● Embrace a culture of philanthropy where fundraising is seen as necessary and valued as a key tool of
action and change dictated by the people most impacted by the lack of action and change, and not just
those who already have power and money. Provide input into grant applications, participate in funder
meetings, and assist with small dollar fundraising efforts as needed and requested.
Required Qualifications:
● Philosophical commitment to progressive values, gender and racial equity and inclusivity, social and
economic justice, and health care freedom for everyone in America, and experience with or
commitment to working in communities of color and/or other communities that are currently oppressed
and underrepresented in our industry and our democracy.
● 1 years collective experience in implementing field campaigns.
● Strong accountable self care ethic that leads to personal time management and task prioritization,
organization skills, and the ability to be effective in peak stress work times.
● Strong written and verbal communication skills, including ability to produce effective external and
inter-office communications, conduct social media outreach, and provide reporting on program.
● Beginner to intermediate technology and tools skills or aptitude for learning tech and tools including
e-mail, composing documents, working with data-bases, and digital networking (Familiarity with VAN,
Google Suite, Microsoft Office, and managing Facebook pages and/or Twitter accounts)
Desired Qualifications:
● Bilingual a plus
● Ability or aptitude to learn how to understand complex public policy issues and translate them into
compelling organizing issues that motivate people to act
● Some management experience
● Experience with productive and collaborative conflict resolution processes and the ability to resolve
conflict while maintaining effective and productive working relationships as well as excellent listening,
interpersonal, and problem solving skills.
● Experience with short and long term strategic issue, campaign, and/or organizational planning.
● Some experience with small dollar fundraising
Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position which includes cell phone allowance, paid sick and vacation
days, and other benefits. Weekend and evening hours required. Base salary rate is $36,500.00 annually, and
is negotiable upon offer of employment based on experience and qualifications.
To apply : Please send cover letter and resume to [email protected] . Please, no in person
or phone inquiries.

Medicaid/BadgerCare Expansion Better for Addressing Opioid Crisis Report


New report shows anti-opioid medications much more affordable for those with BadgerCare coverage than marketplace health insurance

Taking federal Medicaid dollars to expand BadgerCare would remove financial barriers to opioid treatment

The report shows that out-of-pocket costs for anti-opioid medications are often unaffordable on the private health insurance marketplace, costing as much as 72 times more than they do for BadgerCare enrollees. The report provides an additional critical policy consideration for lawmakers to weigh as they deliberate over the Governor’s proposal to accept federal Medicaid dollars to expand BadgerCare.

Download Full Report

 

Applauds BadgerCare Expansion Legislation


Statewide:
Today, Governor Tony Evers, State Senator Jon Erpenbach, and State Representative Daniel Riemer announced their intention to introduce legislation to accept additional federal money to expand BadgerCare at a news conference in Wauwatosa. GOP legislators stripped this provision from the Governor’s budget during the Joint Finance Committee process.

“It’s time for leadership of the Legislature to put the people of Wisconsin first,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “BadgerCare expansion will provide over 80,000 Wisconsinites who do not receive health insurance at work with affordable coverage, enabling them to receive life-saving treatment and redirect their hard-earned money to other necessities.”

Regional Citizen Action organizers also spoke to the benefits of BadgerCare expansion across Wisconsin.

Eau Claire: “BadgerCare expansion would mean almost 1,400 hard-working Eau Claire County residents would be eligible to receive quality, affordable care,” said Citizen Action of Wisconsin Organizer Noah Reif. “In addition, the expansion would bring millions of dollars in federal healthcare investments back to northwest Wisconsin. As an individual, I have benefited from state health insurance plans when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 2 years old. Simply put, I would not be here if not for Wisconsin’s investment in me and my family. BadgerCare expansion is an opportunity to extend that life-saving investment to other people like me who need it.”

Wausau: “In rural Wisconsin, you often hear folks claim that we send our money to Madison and we don’t get our fair share back,” said Citizen Action of Wisconsin Organizer  Joel Lewis. “Not accepting the Medicaid money is similar in that we sent our money to Washington, DC and when they offered it back, we turned it down. Not only does this make no sense from a budget standpoint, but it also puts people’s lives on the line. This is our money and we need to take it back.”

Oshkosh: “BadgerCare expansion would help thousands of working people in northeast Wisconsin get health coverage,” said Citizen Action of Wisconsin Organizer Jolie Lizotte. “This will help families in the Fox Valley area afford healthcare they desperately need. Expanding BadgerCare coverage to these families is the right thing to do.”

Health Care is a Human Right and a Public Good


Our current healthcare system is driven by profit and governed by insurance and pharmaceutical companies, rather than by the people. In calling for Medicare for All we are fighting to shift power away from insurance and drug corporations, move health care resources into the public sphere (and people into public coverage), increase community control, and combat racial, national, and gender exclusion. Fighting for universal health care allows us to put corporate power, commodification, immigrant exclusion, and racial and gender inequity at the center of the debate.

We believe that health care should be:

  • In public hands
  • Driven by our health, not profits
  • Simple, universal, and available
  • Fully resourced
  • Inclusive and comprehensive (including medicines, medical equipment, vision/dental/hearing care, reproductive care, mental health care, harm reduction and treatment for substance misuse, preventive and long-term care, and homecare)
  • Equitable across race, gender, ability, and region
  • Inclusive of care for the people who care for us

Under Medicare for All:

  • Health care will be financed in a way that benefits us. We all pay into a system that is managed by one entity. Instead of lining the pockets of insurance company executives or funding company advertising, our money goes where it should: toward our health care.
  • We all participate in the decisions that affect our health. Medicare for All takes the power from insurance companies and puts it in our hands and the hands of our democratically elected representatives. Insurance companies would not be allowed to determine how much we pay for health care services and which services we can get.
  • Everyone receives quality health care. A universal health care system guarantees universal coverage. There are no more financial barriers. This promotes equality and equity in our health care system, meaning everyone has a fair shot at being healthy.
  • We will have freedom of choice in our health care. There will no longer be doctor’s offices that don’t take your insurance. You can choose which doctor you see or which hospital you go to.

 

To join our fight for universal and high-quality health care, become a member of your local co-op!

 

Citizen Action Weekly – July 26th


Friday, July 26th

Eau Claire City Council Takes Action on Affordable Housing Crisis

Thanks to the excellent work of Citizen Action members on the ground and our elected members, the Eau Claire City council allocated $200,000 to purchase and prepare land for small, single-family homes. In addition City Councilors Andrew Werthmann and Kate Beaton authored an amendment to move $500,000 from the 2023 budget to next year, 2020, to fund the development of multi-family affordable housing. We are proud of our co-op members who spoke in support of additional funding and our elected officials for demonstrating true shared governance and responsibility to the needs of their community. You can find out more about the story and other important local issues through our member Julian Emerson’s excellent independent reporting!
(Councilmember & Co-op Member Andrew Werthman)

Burnett County Board Passes CAFO-Moratorium

The Burnett County Board voted 16-3 in favor of the proposed moratorium on livestock facilities licensing after nearly three hours of a public hearing at the Government Center. Citizen Action members Kim Dupree and Linda Hendrix joined in the fight, in addition to their current work on CAFO expansion in Polk County.

Our members and allies are merely the latest in communities taking action to fight ruinous factory farms from taking hold in Northwest Wisconsin.

HealthCare Co-op is looking for leads

Do you know anyone that has had the following experiences with our healthcare System:

Surprise Medical Bills:

Patient has a procedure done at an in-network hospital with an in-network doctor, only to receive a bill after (SUPRISE!) from the anesthesiologist.

Preventative VS. Diagnostic:

Women patients that go in for the yearly mammogram but because of dense tissue, need to have an ultra sound and because of that, the screening cost ends up costing the patient hundreds of dollars instead of being free under preventative care.  A similar scenario happens to patients that go in for their screening colonoscopy.

If so, please refer them to our healthcare organizer Karen Kirsch @ 414-588-0927 or [email protected]

Updates from North Central Organizing Co-op

What an exciting week it has been.

First, leaders with the Wausau Chapter of OWR (Our Wisconsin Revolution)  wanted to organize a response to Duffy’s support of Trump’s hateful speech aimed at AOC and the squad.

Some Co-op members, including Steering Committee member Lauren Henkelman, are active with OWR. Several groups came out in support of the squad, and in opposition to hate. You can see coverage of the rally here.

That was Monday.

On Tuesday, Citizens for a Clean Wausau, which also has several members from our Co-op, gave a presentation to the Park and Rec Committee at Wausau City Hall. Tom Kilian led the presentation, and it was encouraging, because City aldermen and City staff really seemed to take it seriously. As usual, fears over the cost of cleaning up any environmental contamination are seemingly the biggest hurdle we have in getting a good remediation plan in place. But progress was certainly made. You can see some media on this here.

Then, Tuesday night, love won again! Last month, Marathon County followed Gov. Evers’ lead, and passed a Pride resolution.

Several Co-op members were involved in this. Then, some County Board Supervisors decided to bring it back for a revote! It seemed like they had the votes…but, the attempt to bring it back for a revote was defeated! All of the no votes to the left are the people who support June being recognized as Pride month. Here is some coverage of that meeting.

Thank you to everyone who has made this one heck of a good week. If we continue to stand together and fight together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish!

Southeastern Co-op

Big moment in Wisconsin history and for Citizen Action! A coalition of various organizations, activist, and elected officials got together and help pass a local version of Green New Deal at the Milwaukee County Board. In general, the plan will be to focus on giving poor communities and communities of color an economic opportunity to train and obtain for “green” new jobs. While tackling unemployment we will also combat climate change and racial injustices. We are proud of all our comrades and honored to be part of this movement.

What’s Next?

We have a huge event scheduled for Aug 1st at 6 pm at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society (2620 W Center St. Milwaukee, WI 53206). Join us to celebrate Milwaukee’s Green New Deal!  It’s all about creating jobs for North and Southside Milwaukee residents, and putting an end to climate genocide! Click on the link for more information: Milwaukee’s Green New Deal Kickoff Celebration

 

Good Government Meeting

We are kicking off our Good Government team next week. Come join us at Black Sheep 216 S. 2nd St. Join us at 6 pm Monday Aug 29th. We will be talking about ranked choice voting, tuition free college, Wisconsin pensions, fair maps, voter registration and more!

Check out Citizen Action Press Clips!

Facebook post of the week: