Op-Ed

Walker Has Slashed Women’s Health Care

600 family planning centers dropped, cancer screening declines for low income women.

By - May 22nd, 2016 09:45 am
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Governor Walker greets people outside of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce during the "Working for Wisconsin" tour. 7/2/13. Photo taken July 2nd, 2013. Photo from the State of Wisconsin

Governor Walker greets people outside of the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce during the “Working for Wisconsin” tour. 7/2/13. Photo taken July 2nd, 2013. Photo from the State of Wisconsin

Since 2011, Governor Scott Walker and legislative Republicans have made sport out of restricting women’s access to basic health care. After Governor Walker’s 2012 failed attempt to eliminate some coordinators for the Wisconsin Well Woman Program (WWWP), Governor Walker’s administration is now using a behind-the-scenes tactic to reduce access to these life-saving services once again.

The WWWP was created over two decades ago to ensure that women ages 45-64 who lack health insurance can access cancer and other preventative health screenings. The WWWP pays for mammograms, Pap tests, other health screenings, and multiple sclerosis testing for women with high risk signs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 500 invasive breast cancers were detected through the WWWP between July 2009 and July 2014 and over 70,000 women have participated in the program since its inception.

Instead of continuing to invest in this successful program that is saving women’s lives through the early detection and treatment of cancer, the Walker administration reduced the 72 county coordinating offices for the WWWP to 13 multi-jurisdictional agencies (MJA) that are responsible for up to 10 counties each. Certain family planning providers, including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, were booted out of the program, which contributed to the number of providers dropping from 1,000 to just over 400 in the last year, with only about 80 sites providing mammograms.

The nonpartisan Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition recently surveyed WWWP Coordinators about these changes to the program. Nearly all coordinators responded and the results were astonishing. 62% of WWWP Coordinators say lack of providers in their region and obstacles to traveling are barriers to participation for women in their region. 77% of WWWP Coordinators confirm declining enrollment, though nearly half also report seeing women come back to the program because they were kicked off BadgerCare and could not afford private insurance. 76% of WWWP Coordinators indicated they either do not have enough mammographic providers in their region or are “making do” – although it is difficult.

This is not the first attack on access to life-saving cancer screenings and basic preventive health care by Governor Walker and legislative Republicans, which has been a hallmark of their governing. Specifically, they have targeted Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin for elimination, endangering the health and lives of Wisconsin women. They have slashed millions in aid for preventive care, like mammograms, cervical cancer screenings and birth control, which has led to the closure of five rural health centers (Johnson Creek, Beaver Dam, Chippewa Falls, Shawano and Fond du Lac) and most likely, more to come.

Unfortunately, there are real-life consequences for the political games these legislators are playing with women’s lives, which the thousands of women in Wisconsin who are losing access to basic healthcare altogether or are having to drive hours at a time to get their yearly mammogram can attest to. As long as Governor Walker and legislative Republicans are in charge, women will have a target on their backs.

Jennifer Shilling serves as the Senate Democratic Leader and represents the 32nd District which covers La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford and parts of Monroe County. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, represents District 76 in the Wisconsin Assembly.

Categories: Health, Op-Ed, Politics

67 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Walker Has Slashed Women’s Health Care”

  1. Karl says:

    The man is a pig.

  2. AG says:

    So the main point trying to be made, or implied, is that defunding PP has reduced the number of locations where low income women can get mammograms.

    This is false and a fabrication. The entire article is misleading. PP never had the capability to do them.

    Besides, we have Obamacare… everyone has insurance now. Right?

  3. Vincent Hanna says:

    AG as a man it’s amazing what an expert you are on women’s health care and the consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood. I’m sure you know exactly what it’s like to be a poor woman.

  4. AG says:

    Vincent, are you denying the accuracy of my statement that planned parenthood does not now, nor never has had, the ability to do mammograms? I didn’t realize one has to be a poor woman to know whether an organization has that capability. I’ll go find one and ask her.

    OK, just heard back. Turns out I was right, they don’t and never did.

  5. RMH says:

    PP does other types of screening AG, such as pap smears, which are part of the screening process for cervical cancer.

  6. Vincent Hanna says:

    Again your reading comprehension skills must be called into question. As RMH says they do other screenings. But hey you never miss a chance to bash PP and act as if you are an expert on women’s health care, so it’s not like you actually care.

  7. Vincent Hanna says:

    As a women’s health care expert AG, I’m sure you will have a pithy response, but if you are so inclined you could learn something by reading these.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/24/9373721/planned-parenthood-go-somewhere-else

    “Stat check: No, women couldn’t just “go somewhere else” if Planned Parenthood closed”

    https://www.texasobserver.org/targeting-planned-parenthood-legislature-threatens-cancer-services-women/

    “In Targeting Planned Parenthood, Legislature Threatens Cancer Services For Women”

  8. Vincent Hanna says:

    Seriously why does every post with 2 links get held for review? I don’t get that.

  9. John says:

    From the Planned Parenthood site: “Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses teach patients about breast care, connect patients to resources to help them get vital biopsies, ultrasounds, and mammograms, and follow up to make sure patients are cared for with the attention they need and deserve. – See more at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/womens-health/br east-cancer-screenings#sthash.mIZbssHI.dpuf ”

    AG, Planned Parenthood could also set you up with a vasectomy. You’d be doing us all a great service,

  10. Dave Reid says:

    @Vincent The software (Akismet) thinks it is possible spam and automatically puts it into a review bucket. Unfortunately, sites are constantly being probed with various spam and other attacks so it’s needed.

  11. AG says:

    I’m disappointed in how quickly the personal attacks came out. But John, I did at least get a chuckle out of yours… good one!

    So this is fun and all, and we can have the same debate as usual (as evidenced by plopping down the same links as usual) and I could respond with my usual links, and then you can all come back with more name calling and we can go on like usual. However, the topic today is this op-ed making it seem as if eliminating planned parenthood from this program has caused this dramatic shift in locations in the program, drastically cut down on the number of people served, and that now some parts of the state have a black hole of mammogram locations because PP was eliminated. All of that is false. None of you are addressing what I said. I’m going to assume that means you admit that is true and your only recourse is to distract in name calling and bringing up other topics.

    If anyone can show me a part of the state that now has no where to go within reasonable driving distance for low income women because planned parenthood shut down, I’d love to see your examples. Especially around mammograms since.. well, again: they never did them to begin with.

    If you want to talk WWWP, fine we can discuss that. I don’t know much other than the ACA was supposed to make the program far less necessary… but I’d be happy to do research on the topic if you have any specific concerns to discuss.

  12. Vincent Hanna says:

    Huh. Interesting. I’ve posted a lot of other places and have never encountered two links automatically being placed under review.

  13. Vincent Hanna says:

    Does the op-ed specifically state that PP provides mammograms. It talks about drastic cuts to WWWP and also efforts to shut down PP, but I don’t see where it specifically alleges that PP provides the mammograms. It says WWWP pays for them and the result of slashing the program so dramatically is less women will get them. That doesn’t seem like an unreasonable conclusion.

  14. Vincent Hanna says:

    http://www.wibreastcancer.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/AB310-311-Release09012015.pdf

    “Family Planning clinics provide essential access to health care for many low income women in both urban
    and rural settings. While they may not actually provide mammograms, they provide clinical breast exams
    and can refer women to the state’s Well Woman Program where they may be eligible for screening,
    diagnostic and treatment coverage.”

  15. AG says:

    Come on Vincent, you are too smart for that. You know a leading statement when you see one. This op-ed is full of them. Here is one example: “Certain family planning providers, including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, were booted out of the program, which contributed to the number of providers dropping from 1,000 to just over 400 in the last year, with only about 80 sites providing mammograms.” So they infer that PP is among the sites taken out that contributes to only 80 sites providing mammograms. The authors can get away with it because it doesn’t directly say “PP does mammograms” but anyone who didn’t know would just make the assumption. You know this is what they were doing, don’t defend it. You’re better than that.

  16. Vincent Hanna says:

    OK so I am right then and you were twisting the press release to align with your own rabidly anti-PP agenda, which you spew here constantly. That’s really the issue here. Over and over again you bash PP and this is just more of the same. That is what you are doing, and there’s no defense of it. You aren’t better than that. You don’t care about women’s health or the consequences of cuts to WWWP. You hate PP and you have tunnel vision.

  17. AG says:

    Really….?

  18. AG's mother says:

    Nowhere in the article does it claim PP provides mammograms. But what PP does provide is invaluable, especially since Walker threw so many women off Badger Care: In addition to mammogram referrals, the group says it helps low-income patients find grants and assistance to pay for mammograms, such as through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which is for women at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

  19. AG's mother says:

    “for many women,” Planned Parenthood is their only health care provider and “thus the only way they will get a referral for a mammogram.”

  20. Vincent Hanna says:

    Oh absolutely. 110%. Not to mention what a smug, sanctimonious, and condescending jerk you come across as in your 8:25 post. I read that and cringe. It’s so off-putting man.

  21. AG says:

    You’re reading it wrong. You really do generally come across as an intelligent person with critical thinking skills. I really believe if you were being objective you would easily identify the fact that this is full of leading statements and half truths.

    I’ll bring up a common refrain you say all the time though… you haven’t answered any of my questions or addressed any of my points. Will you do that?

    I’m most interested in finding an example of a PP closing that left a big gap in care in the state. Especially with the ACA in full effect.

  22. Vincent Hanna says:

    I understand that there is spin in press releases, and overheated rhetoric. I also know that you have a history of anti-PP posts here and I believe that clouds your judgment. Your hatred of them prevents you from looking at this objectively. You see everything through an anti-PP lens. I did address your initial points in posts 13 and 14.

    As for PP closings and gaps, yes, it has happened.

    David Slusky, an economist at the University of Kansas, has studied the closure of family planning clinics in both Texas and Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker cut reproductive health funds in a way that disproportionately affected abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood.

    His work, published with University of Chicago’s Yao Lu in the Journal of Applied Economics, isn’t about Planned Parenthood specifically. It looks at an anonymous, national network of family planning clinics. Still, the findings are the same: When clinics close, not all women find a new provider. Some just get less care.

    More specifically, Slusky and Lu show that increasing a patient’s distance to a family planning clinic by 100 miles leads to an 11 percent decline in clinical breast exams and a 14 percent drop in Pap smears. Declines in care were even bigger among lower-income and less-educated women.

    “Preventive care is all about reducing future harm to yourself,” Slusky says. “So if you can’t take off work to drive 100 miles each way, then you’re not going to go, because it’s not worth it. When access to care is such an issue, that could be a completely rational decision for even a forward-looking person.”

  23. Vincent Hanna says:

    I understand that there is spin in press releases, and overheated rhetoric. I also know that you have a history of anti-PP posts here and I believe that clouds your judgment. Your hatred of them prevents you from looking at this objectively. You see everything through an anti-PP lens. I did address your initial points in posts 13 and 14.

    As for PP closings and gaps, research has shown that women in the state get less care in after closings.

    -David Slusky, an economist at the University of Kansas, has studied the closure of family planning clinics in both Texas and Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker cut reproductive health funds in a way that disproportionately affected abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood.

    His work, published with University of Chicago’s Yao Lu in the Journal of Applied Economics, isn’t about Planned Parenthood specifically. It looks at an anonymous, national network of family planning clinics. Still, the findings are the same: When clinics close, not all women find a new provider. Some just get less care.

    More specifically, Slusky and Lu show that increasing a patient’s distance to a family planning clinic by 100 miles leads to an 11 percent decline in clinical breast exams and a 14 percent drop in Pap smears. Declines in care were even bigger among lower-income and less-educated women.

    “Preventive care is all about reducing future harm to yourself,” Slusky says. “So if you can’t take off work to drive 100 miles each way, then you’re not going to go, because it’s not worth it. When access to care is such an issue, that could be a completely rational decision for even a forward-looking person.”

  24. Vincent Hanna says:

    Sorry please ignore 22.

  25. AG says:

    OK, since you admit that there is spin in press releases, and overheated rhetoric (keep in mind this is an op-ed though) then I’ll concede I do indeed take a hard stance on PP issues. Although I don’t think I hid that 😉

    If they want to argue that the changes in WWWP has negative consequences, they can do that. I know that the leadership was unhappy with how quick the changes came, even though they knew there’d be less demand because of Obamacare. I don’t know enough of the details to have a stance on it. I only took issue because they mix abortion providers into the conversation to draw more outrage, but all that does (for example in my case) is cause others to take as sharp a stance against it. But they’re playing to their own side so I guess it doesn’t matter.

    I still want to see an example of PP closing that is causing women to drive an unreasonable distance for low income care. As far as I could find, that just isn’t something that has happened in WI.

  26. Vincent Hanna says:

    What’s an unreasonable distance for you? 1 hour for a low-income woman? See you can define that in such a way that nothing seems unreasonable to you, which conveniently means the closings have not caused any problems in your view.

  27. AG's mother says:

    A better question: How far does AG have to travel for his/her healthcare needs?

  28. AG says:

    Vincent, a valid question. I’d agree that adding 100 miles is of course unreasonable. I’m open to that discussion though. I think it would vary depending on where you live. Some places it’s the norm to drive at least half an hour to get to anything, let alone a healthcare provider… but other areas where people do not have cars (read: urban) it can be a big deal to go a few miles if there’s no direct bus route. I’ll even let you propose what a reasonable distance is.

    Interestingly, if you look at the paper you cited, almost the entire state saw no change in distance to nearest clinic. The few places that were saw an increase of less than 10 miles. No where was it like texas that saw distances of 100 miles or anywhere near that… not even half.

  29. Casey says:

    The state already uses something similar when determining mileage reimbursement in your long term care. Rural folks get a much higher allocation than urban folks for the very reason that AG points out. Use the same metrics to determine what is the appropriate/reasonable distance.

  30. Sonia Dubielzig says:

    AG, what I fear you don’t understand is that most people who go to Planned Parenthood aren’t going for abortion services. They are going to get basic health care and contraception.

    I am a middle-class white woman who has needed to use Planned Parenthood for both pap smears and contraception at times in my life. Especially when I was in my 20’s, early in my marriage, my husband and I didn’t have health insurance but I needed to renew my prescription to for the pill. If I didn’t have that prescription, we would have had to use condoms for birth control, which frankly would have sucked.

    Thankfully, at that time, I lived in downtown Waukesha at the time and I could go to a Planned Parenthood there. The visit was affordable and I didn’t have to make the appointment long in advance (which was critical, because my pills were running out). In order to get the contraceptive prescription the PP provider did a pap smear and checked the uterus and ovaries to make sure everything was “OK” down there. Yes, I could have gone to a doctor in a private practice for the same visit but it would have cost hundreds more dollars just to get the prescription. I also may have had to wait longer (And then I would have STILL had to pay out of pocket for the pills).

    I thank Planned Parenthood for making birth control accessible for me at that time in my life. If people truly want to reduce unwanted pregnancies (and therefore, abortions), people should SUPPORT planned parenthood, not make it harder for the organization. There are a lot of women like me out there who have needed Planned Parenthood at some point. Maybe AG, you should ask the women in your life if they have ever visited a PP clinic before irrationally bashing them.

  31. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    More complete lies, cancer screening is not done by PPH, they do virtually none. There is not one medical practice or needn’t fulfilled for low income women by medicaid and the major clinics and MD in state, it is complete partisan BS, aided my Walker hater Murphy.
    Give us some names, Murphy and their stories, not partisan BS.

  32. wishonsin conservative digest says:

    PPH is slaughter house for Black babies in a concentrated effort to enforce the Eugenics ideas of Sanger. In Milwaukee the largest number of abortions is Black babies, to control their population.

  33. Begonia says:

    Wisconsin Conservative Digest, do you know what a PAP smear is for? PAP smears check for cervical cancer. I think that is called “cancer screening”.

    As part of the process of writing a prescription for birth control, doctors usually do PAP smears for new patients unless the patients can provide the PAP smears from a recent (within 2 years) visit to another provider. Providers also palpitate the uterus and ovaries to look for lumps and cysts. They can’t just write a prescription for new hormones without first making sure the patient doesn’t have underlying health concerns.

  34. AG says:

    Sonia Dubielzig, I appreciate the points that you are making. While we could have had that debate in years past, the ACA fundamentally changes the discussion.

  35. Begonia says:

    (This is Sonia responding with my normal UrbanMilwaukee screen name.)

    AG, I understand your point, but several of the advantages of PP are still there: the Planned Parenthood clinic is still conveniently located in downtown Waukesha (not in an office park on the periphery of the city where bus service is infrequent). It may also still be easy to schedule a visit there, as opposed to several weeks in advance. Lots of women (like myself) who are busy with life and kids don’t actually make the time to visit a primary care physician for an annual physical. My contact with medical professionals in the past year has consisted of visits to my kids pediatricians and visiting my OB-GYN. So, if PP clinics offer women the option to visit a OB-GYN in a convenient location, within a reasonable time period, why can’t they coexist alongside other private and public clinics? And if a woman likes the provider at the planned parenthood clinic, why should she have to change?

  36. AG says:

    Begonia, if you’re paying for it or you have private healthcare coverage then by all means, please feel free to use PP (even though I loath the organization, I have no right to stop you).

    What I do not support is public funding helping support the operations of an organization that takes the lives of unborn children. Some people label that position as extreme, but that’s a matter of perspective. Either way, finding it inconvenient to find an alternative provider or making an appointment in advance is not strong enough justification to me to change that stance.

    There are other clinics available for walk in service to low income people (I know you didn’t say you were low income, but I know the responses from others will decry the lack of availability to low income people). Ultimately though, if we CAN get more women AND men to see a primary care doctor on a regular basis we’d see far more healthcare benefits in the long run anyway.

  37. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Begonia, all of those things are your choices, why should the state pay for them while you have private insurance? Pap smears are done in thousands of places in this state. You do not a baby sitter to get things done for you and we do not want to pay for your laziness..

  38. AG says:

    wisconsin conservative digest, the discussions usually tend to be more productive without the personal insults. They shouldn’t use personal attacks and neither should you.

  39. Tom D says:

    AG (posts 21 & 35), ACA is NOT in full effect. Expanded Medicare was a key part of “full” ACA, but SCOTUS made it optional (at each state’s discretion). Wisconsin has chosen to partially ignore that part of “full” ACA.

  40. Tom D says:

    Correction: I should have said “Expanded MEDICAID”.

    I understand the difference.

  41. Vincent Hanna says:

    WCD just go away. You contribute nothing to the discussion and only derail it. If UM is so awful, don’t post here. Please.

    AG, you say other walk-in clinics are available for poor people, but is that really true in rural areas of the state? A lot of research suggests rural Americans in general face a severe lack of healthcare access.

  42. AG says:

    Tom D, the only people not covered by Badgercare that would have been under the expansion are eligible for subsidies on the exchanges. The cry that Walker didn’t expand it to cover those people is a distraction from the fact that they have coverage available. In fact, the ACA coverage provides a better/larger network of healthcare providers than they could have received under medicaid.

  43. AG says:

    Vincent, I’m not aware of any locations in Wisconsin where if a PP site closed an alternative (actual) healthcare provider wouldn’t be within reasonable distance. If you know of any, let me know. We’re not as sparely populated as some areas in Texas or Montana, thankfully.

  44. Vincent Hanna says:

    I don’t think I should define reasonable distance AG. Nor should you. I have a car and good health insurance. I don’t need to worry about contraception access or pap smears. I am not a poor woman with no reliable transportation and no health care. Nor are you. Yet you act like you have firsthand experience with it and know what’s best and reasonable. When the clinics in Beaver Dam, Johnson Creek, Chippewa Falls, and Shawano closed there were claims that women would need to travel an hour for a clinic.

  45. Begonia says:

    Again, AG and Wisconsin Conservative Digest, I challenge you to ask your sisters, wives, daughters, female cousins and friends: “Have you ever used Planned Parenthood services?” I think you will be surprised. Do a poll of your facebook friends. Then come back and let us know what you find out.

    Responding specifically to points above: Wisconsin Conservative Digest, I do think the state has an interest in improving access to contraceptives and birth control. I also think that the way to reduce abortions is by making birth control more accessible, not less accessible.

    And AG, without detailed knowledge of the insurance plans and clinics available to women in the Beaver Dam, Johnson Creek, Chippewa Falls, Shawano, and Fond du Lac, it’s impossible to know whether there are in fact in-network healthcare providers within a reasonable distance. Sure, there are still probably other general practice clinics in those communities where women can get pap smears and family planning services and, but would their insurance cover a visit to those other clinics? I don’t know. I think it’s reasonable to presume that some women now have much longer drives.

    Another assumption that you make in this new ACA environment is that previously uninsured women are actually paying for private insurance because of the ACA. But in fact, many women may choose to pay a fine for not having health insurance, rather than paying monthly premiums for a private insurance that has a $2,000 deductible anyway. So having access to a cheaper walk-in clinic for family planning services is still important.

  46. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    This state did not make PPH a state sponsored , paid for insurance program, they are to use their own insurance, Medicaid that is for what we pay. PPH is nothing but a butcher shop killing babies. They hate minorities so are trying to exterminate them.

  47. AG says:

    OK… well if someone with first hand experience wants to join the conversation and show me an example, I’m ready. Each of those locations you cited have other low income healthcare clinics that serve people under 200-250% of federal poverty level. In fact, those locations are better because they do a full range of medical services, not just reproductive care and a few basic screenings.

  48. tom D says:

    AG (post 43) insurance purchased on the Exchange (even with subsidies) is MUCH more expensive than Medicaid—so expensive that is probably unaffordable.

    For example a single person making $15,000 must pay 3% of income ($450/year) after subsidy. This compares to zero for Medicaid. Also, that subsidy is based on a “Silver” policy which only pays 70% of costs (vs 100% for Medicaid).

    So, the difference between Walker’s plan (“Let them have Obamacare”) and Medicaid (what people in other states get is:

    “Full” Obamacare: You pay nothing for 12 months of coverage

    Walkercare: You must pay 3% of income plus 30% of medical expenses plus a deductible
    AND if you miss a payment and get kicked off the plan, you not only lose your coverage, you also owe $695 (per adult) in tax penalties

    Not at all the same thing.

  49. Vincent Hanna says:

    Oh well case closed then because AG says there’s no problem whatsoever. Good to know. Sometimes ethos matters, and it does here. Just because you claim there is no problem doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Medical professionals and health care advocates and oh yeah women say there’s a serious problem, and they simply have much more credibility than you on this particular matter.

  50. AG says:

    Again Vincent… show me. Show me where PP closing has caused unreasonable issues for women to get proper healthcare. You act like I’m not open… I’ve asked about 7 times for you or anyone to show me. I’m literally begging you to give me examples.

    Begonia, I again appreciate you response. You’re right, we need to know specifics of individual plans to find options for people. Without the specifics, we’re just talking theory.

    Tom D, except that by law plans must cover preventative care and birth control 100%… so… zero out of pocket. In addition, I’m glad you mentioned the single person making 15k a year. I’m glad because before Walker changed badgercare, single people did not qualify. Because he put the higher income families over to the exchanges, that made room for single people to finally qualify. Even Bruce Thompson admitted in an article on UM that it was not a bad move because many new people were covered.

    Anyway, we’re all coming at this from different perspectives. Since I believe it to be immoral to kill unborn children in most cases, I can not justify supporting organizations that perform abortions regardless of the reasoning. Someone who doesn’t see that immoral wouldn’t have the same barriers. We’ll never convince each other otherwise.

  51. Vincent Hanna says:

    More than 50% of women surveyed in Texas recently say they experience barriers to reproductive health services. 38% say they can’t afford care. 15% say there are no reproductive health care services where they live. Yes Texas is much bigger than Wisconsin, but we have some pretty rural areas in this state, and if the people directly impacted by these closings say there are serious problems because of it, they should be taken seriously and listened to. They would know better.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/30/family-planning-budgets-crisis-before-planned-parenthood-controversy/30861853/

  52. Vincent Hanna says:

    Great AG then don’t have an abortion. If only you cared half as much about poor women who are hurt by these closings.

  53. AG says:

    Vincent, you’re right, we are not Texas. As the study you linked earlier showed us, the distance to find a new clinic in Texas is much different than WI. They are not comparable.

  54. AG says:

    So in that vein, Vincent… if you only cared half as much about the poor babies killed by these abortions.

  55. Tom D says:

    AG (post 51): A single person making $15k is NOT eligible for Badgercare—because she is too affluent. (The income cutoff for a single person is $11,880.) If she lived in Minnesota (or Michigan or Illinois or Iowa), she would qualify for Medicaid, but not in Wisconsin

    Also, even if she only needed preventative care (and contraceptives), there would still be an out-of-pocket payment—a premium payment equal to 3% of annual income ($450 in this example). And if she needed any other type of care, the out-of-pocket expenses would add up (unlike federally-funded Medicaid, which Scott Walker rejects).

    Bottom line: “full” ACA exists in many states, but not Wisconsin. Refusing this federal funding isn’t a principled conservative position, as conservative Republican governors in Iowa, Michigan, and Indiana (among others) all supported expanding medicaid in their states.

  56. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    I asked my relatives, they do not. Point is simple that we have an endless array of places for peoel to go therefore by subsidizing some it inhibits the sue of others and endless duplication is not good. Why subsidize some and not others.

  57. AG says:

    Tom D, I stand corrected. For some reason I was thinking single person coverage goes up to 133% of FPL… not sure why I thought that. So yes, they’d have to pay 25-37 dollars a month (depending how close to 133% they are around 15k) for insurance. Thank you for the correction on this subset, even if it’s pretty tiny. 😉

  58. Vincent Hanna says:

    $25-$37 a month does not sound tiny if you are poor.

  59. Begonia says:

    Vincent, he is referring to the population subset that are single people with very low incomes but who make more than the Federal Poverty Line–that is what he is saying is tiny, not the amount of money. And honestly I don’t know how he knows that the subset is a tiny population.

  60. Vincent Hanna says:

    Oh sorry. My mistake. Yeah how tiny is that subset exactly?

  61. AG says:

    I was just being tongue in cheek when I said that. But out of curiosity, I did look it up. According to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 26,000 people would be covered if the medicaid expansion was enacted to cover people up to 138% of the FPL. I thought that was actually quite a few people.

    I couldn’t find the % of those living in Milwaukee, Madison and other larger urban areas… because that would make it easier to serve them at free and reduced cost clinics. But if you figure 72% of WI residents live within an MSA then that leaves about 7k remaining to be service across the entire rest of the state. I guess we can call that tiny…? Comparatively at least.

    (Data for Kaiser FF analysis: http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/the-coverage-gap-uninsured-poor-adults-in-states-that-do-not-expand-medicaid-an-update/)

  62. Tom D says:

    Because Walker won’t accept federal money to expand Medicare, he needlessly threatens some poor people’s financial health.

    Consider this example…

    You are single, are employed and expect to make $12,000 this year. As such, you are too affluent for Medicaid (aka “Badgercare” which requires an income of $11,880 or less), so you buy insurance on the Exchange, using federal subsidies to bring down your annual premium to 3% of income or $360.

    Let’s be optimistic and assume you don’t get sick or injured and therefore run up no further medical expenses that year.

    While it’s infuriating to pay $360 for insurance just because you made $120 over the limit, thanks to Scott Walker it can get MUCH worse.

    Suppose your hours get cut back in December so that you only actually make $11,850, $150 less than you expected. That means you actually WERE eligible for Medicaid all year, but the $360 in premiums you paid is gone and you can’t get a refund.

    But wait, there’s more! (Lot’s more!)

    … Because you made $30 under FPL (“Federal Poverty Level”—$11,880/year if single), you also lose all of your federal ACA subsidies and must repay them!!!!

    “Full” ACA includes an overlap between Medicaid coverage and ACA subsidies—Medicaid eligibility extends up to 138% of FPL while ACA subsidies start at 100% of FPL.

    Walker has eliminated this overlap. While he is correct that everybody is still covered either under Medicaid (Badgercare) or ACA, it can be impossible for people near the edge to predict exactly where they’ll be at year-end.

  63. AG says:

    Tom D, a couple points.

    1. That income level would be 2% of income ($240)

    2. If your income changes, especially before December… you could become eligible for medicaid for the rest of the year.

    3. If you end up making less than 100% of FPL you do NOT have to repay the subsidy. http://obamacarefacts.com/questions/why-do-i-have-to-pay-back-obamacare-subsidies/

  64. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    Wis. has highest coverage, 93%, of any state. Plus we are not exposed to the multibillion dollars losses like Ohio had, now and in the future.

  65. Tom D says:

    AG (post 64), all 3 your points are correct. I stand corrected.

    WCD (post 65), everything I find says that Massachusetts, not Wisconsin, has the highest percentage of residents with health coverage (96.7%). This makes sense because Massachusetts came up with Romneycare.

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/blog/2015/11/11/uninsured-rate-massachusetts/

  66. rnprn says:

    It is just more of the Republican war on women. They wonder why nationally why they can’t win elections.

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