Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Press Release

Walker Denies His Responsibility to Safeguard Health Care for Over 184,000 Wisconsinites

Greater Milwaukee Data on Impact Released Today

By - Apr 2nd, 2015 11:41 am

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Milwaukee: Yesterday Governor Scott Walker attempted again to wash his hands of any responsibility for protecting health care coverage for over 184,000 Wisconsinites, over 45,000 in Greater Milwaukee alone, at risk because of a U.S. Supreme Court case that will be decided this spring. Walker’s latest statement came at a right-wing talk show event in Brookfield, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Today Citizen Action of Wisconsin is providing numbers which quantify the potential impact of an adverse Supreme Court decision for each major city in Wisconsin, should Governor Walker fail to act (see charts below).

The case of King v. Burwell could strip health insurance subsidies in states like Wisconsin which did not set up their own Affordable Care Act marketplaces. This could increase premiums on average over 300%. If Wisconsin were to create its own health insurance marketplace, there would be no threat to health coverage.

Governor Walker bears a special responsibility for the potential disaster because he forced tens of thousands off of 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.

Because Wisconsin is a relatively high cost state for health insurance, the stripping of Affordable Care Act subsidies would have an especially devastating impact here (see charts below).

“It’s Scott Walker’s job as the Governor of Wisconsin to protect the people of the state from a foreseeable disaster, like tens of thousands being cut of from health coverage,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.” “It is political malpractice for Governor Walker not to prepare for a predictable disaster which could strip affordable health coverage from over 184,000 Wisconsinites. 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.”

Table 1: Supreme Court Decision Puts Wisconsinites at Risk

Average Premium With Tax Credits Size of Average Tax Credit Average Premium w/o Tax Credits
Wisconsin (Statewide) $131/month $319/month $450/month

Source: US Department of Health & Human Services brief, Feb 2015

Table 2: Loss of Tax Credits Severe Local Implications

The removal of tax credits removed would cause annual costs to skyrocket, (Numbers are for low examining low cost silver plans).

(Click here to see data for additional Wisconsin Metropolitan areas)

Premium at 133% of poverty line Premium at 200% of poverty line Premium if tax credits revoked Increased Cost Annual at 133% FPL Increased Cost Annual at 200% FPL
Milwaukee $9 $94 $301 +$3,504 +$2,484
Waukesha $18 $103 $277 +$3,108 +2,088
Madison $24 $109 $238 +$2,568 +$1,548

Data collected from Healthcare.gov and for 40 year old single applicant, non-smoking for lowest cost silver plan. Tax credits estimated for 40 year old single applicant making 133% ($15,654 a year) and 200% of the federal poverty line, ($23,541 a year)

Table 3: Citizens Around Wisconsin Have Signed Up for Health Coverage

(Click here to see data for additional Wisconsin Metropolitan areas)

Est. County Enrollment Est. Qualified for Tax Credits Est. Total Tax Credits Annually
Milwaukee County 34,468 30,677 $117,430,699.37
Waukesha County 9,906 8,817 $33,750,316
Washington County 3,968 3,531 $13,516,610
Ozaukee County 2,916 2,596 $9,936,563
Dane County 11,662 11,747 $44,642,245
STATEWIDE 207,349 184,540 $706,418,001.86

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.

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