The State Budget Endgame: Where do we go from here?
By Robert Kraig, Executive Director
On Wednesday morning Governor Tony Evers signed the Republican budget. While it was much better than it would have been without the threat of his veto pen, and Evers was able to improve it with some important vetoes, there is no escaping the fact that it did not include the two top priorities he was elected to achieve: BadgerCare expansion and full fair funding for public schools. Read More
Mireya Mercado Starts as Citizen Action’s New Digital Media & Community Outreach Organizer
Mireya Mercado is an organizer with a digital communications and public relations background who will work to amplify Citizen Action’s social media presence, and the role of directly impacted people in our campaigns. Mireya has worked on various electoral and issue campaigns. She also led student efforts at Marquette University to ensure equitable representation of students of color on campus. She recently completed a fellowship at NextGen where she mobilized the youth vote on her campus. Mireya looks forward to utilizing digital tools and direct organizing to highlight our fight for equitable access to health care for all. Her principal focus this year will be recruiting and average people with health care stories to impact the fight for guaranteed affordable health care. Read More
Citizen Action hires Claire Zautke as Director of Healthcare For All
Claire Zautke comes to Citizen Action of Wisconsin after completing her Master of Public Affairs at the UW’s La Follette School of Public Affairs in May. At La Follette, Claire studied policy analysis, program evaluation, statistical and cost-benefit analysis, and nonprofit management. Read More
Attend Medicare for All Rally in Chicago Saturday, June 8th!
Join Healthcare for All Co-Op Organizer, Karen Kirsch, Civic Engagement Program Director, Rafael Smith, and Executive Director, Dr. Robert Kraig for a Medicare for All rally in Chicago on Saturday, on Saturday, June 8th. Read More
Join members of the North Central Organizing Co-op and other Groups in the Memorial Day Parade in Wausau
This Saturday, May 25th, at 10 am, join members of the NC Organizing Co-op, the Marathon County Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, and the Marathon County Democratic Party to march in solidarity for the Memorial Day parade, to honor our Veterans.Read More
The Fight Has Just Begun For Health Care In Wisconsin
By: Robert Kraig, executive director
Wisconsin’s Republican lawmakers proudly turned their backs on the people of the Badger State when they voted against expanding health coverage to 82,000 people yesterday.
But at Citizen Action of Wisconsin, we’re not turning back. We’ll keep fighting until every Wisconsinite gets the health care we deserve, and voted for in November.
Yesterday’s vote by the Joint Finance Committee to strip Medicaid/Badgercare Expansion from the state budget is just the latest evidence of the Republican Party’s ongoing effort to keep Scott Walker’s shroud pulled tight over the will of the people, who threw him out of the Governor’s Mansion last November.
That’s when they voted in Democrat Tony Evers as our new governor, Citizen Action of Wisconsin member Mandela Barnes as Lieutenant Governor and Josh Kaul as Attorney General, with a mandate to expand health care and turn back Walker’s callous efforts to strip and scrap public programs in our state.
He also sought to tie the hands of Evers and Kaul, to keep them from passing the legislation voters elected them to enact. Medicaid expansion was first offered to Wisconsin under President Obama but movement conservatives have held it up in the State Legislature for years.
The GOP’s efforts to stymie democracy in Wisconsin are shameful, and run against the very grain of democracy. That’s why we stand with the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and the many others who are challenging these efforts to shield the powerful from the will of the people in court.
On Thursday, the Joint Finance Committee hearing room was packed – out of a hundred seats in the room, more than forty were filled by Citizen Action of Wisconsin members, including myself. The clear majority in the room were average citizens who favor Medicaid expansion, with a smattering of lobbyists who were paid to be there.
The Democrats on the committee were on fire, as revved up as I have seen. But because of Wisconsin’s gerrymandered legislature, they are in a 12-4 minority on the committee, despite November’s vote.
The passion is all on our side, and the latest Marquette University Law poll tells us that 70 percent of Wisconsin voters support Medicare expansion. But Wisconsin’s Republicans are curiously uninterested in public opinion, and quite willing just to exercise power in a ruthless way. They literally accused the Governor of being obstructionist for proposing anything he should have known they oppose, like Medicaid expansion
Republican leaders scheduled this sudden and desperate vote because they are losing the public debate. Days before this rash decision, news reports broke of multiple Republican legislators beginning to bow to public pressure and support the expansion of BadgerCare.
Affordable health care really is a life and death issue.
Just this week, Citizen Action released a blockbuster new study we produced in-house showing how private insurance fails those struggling with opioid addiction, making treatment unaffordable. BadgerCare makes these treatments very affordable, addressing a key need in our state.
We did not lose anything at yesterday’s hearing. This sudden attempt to cut off debate is a sign of weakness. If we keep up the pressure on every legislator who is ignoring the will of the people, we will win.
Until the governor signs his budget, it’s not final. It’s going to be a long debate, and there’s still plenty of time for the public to be heard.
Governor Evers has made clear he will “fight like hell” to win BadgerCare expansion. Do you have the Governor’s back? We do.
Citizen Action Participates in Historic Medicare for All Hearings and Actions in Washington, D.C.
The growing movement to establish health care as a fundamental human right achieved a major milestone this week when the Rules Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives conducted the first ever hearing on Medicare for All. Because to the incredible work of our members to make us a health care leader, and the growing influence of our national affiliate People’s Action, Citizen Action of Wisconsin had a direct role in this historic hearing. Read More