New Report: Governor Scott Walker’s Disastrous Wisconsin Health Care Record
“WalkerCare: A Bad Prescription for America” documents Scott Walker’s sabotage of health care reform in Wisconsin
Wisconsin: On a media call today, on the day Scott Walker announces his campaign for President, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and Center for American Progress Action Fund released a report highlighting major actions that Governor Walker has undertaken to undermine the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (An audio recording of the media call be found here).
As Wisconsin Governor one of Scott Walker’s most consistent positions is his ardent opposition to state implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This report details Governor Walker’s life-threatening efforts to sabotage health care reform in Wisconsin.
Although Walker’s vehement and highly unpopular opposition to Medicaid expansion (BadgerCare in Wisconsin) is well known, many of his other aggressive efforts to take affordable health care coverage away from tens of thousands of Wisconsinites have flown below the national radar screen.
Governor Walker not only opposes the Affordable Care Act, he has done virtually everything in the power of his office to subvert its implementation, threatening the health coverage of tens of thousands of his own constituents.
Throughout his tenure, Governor Walker has recklessly taken affordable health care away from low income Wisconsinites, or left them vulnerable to losing coverage, often at higher cost to state government. He has also consistently sided with large for-profit insurance companies, using his power to sabotage consumer-friendly regulations designed to rein in abusive industry practices and windfall profits. In addition, his policies have raised the cost of health insurance in Wisconsin, especially compared to states like Minnesota that have used the policy tools made available by ACA.
As President, Walker’s power to disrupt health care access would be far greater than it is as Governor. Overall, Walker’s record as Governor indicates that as President he would take health coverage away from tens of millions of people, legalize life-threatening substandard health plans, reintroduce discrimination against people with preexisting conditions, and reverse the progress that has been made to begin to rein in health insurance costs. If his record in Wisconsin is any indication, he would likely unravel not only the Affordable Care Act, but also roll back health coverage programs that predate the health care law such as Medicaid and perhaps also Medicare.
Major highlights of report:
- Marketplace: Governor Walker’s “Office of Free Market Healthcare” and the rejection of a Wisconsin online marketplace.
- Protecting Insurance Company Profits: Efforts by the Walker Administration to shield insurance companies from public transparency, consumer protections, and controls on excessive profits and overhead under provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
- High Cost of Health Insurance: How “WalkerCare” has led to far higher health insurance premiums for consumers than similar Midwestern states like Minnesota. Also Walker’s decision to allow health insurance industry rural redlining, dramatically increasing the cost of health care in rural areas.
- Medicaid (BadgerCare): More details on Walker’s scandalous policy of leaving tens of thousands without affordable coverage, costing the state hundreds of millions in higher costs to cover fewer people.
- King v Burwell: Scott Walker’s refusal to prepare for an imminent threat to the health coverage of over 180,000 Wisconsinites.
- Enrollment Hurdles: the Walker Administration’s likely unconstitutional restrictions on enrollment helpers across Wisconsin.
- Women’s Health Restrictions: attacks on Women’s rights to choose and on access to family planning clinics across Wisconsin.
- Reducing Low Income Access to Affordable Coverage: cuts by the Walker Administration to programs that reach low income communities such as community health centers and rural providers.
“A Scott Walker presidency would be an all out assault on the right of Americans to control their own health care decisions and access affordable health coverage that can never be taken away,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “WalkerCare would take health care coverage away from millions of Americans while turning back the clock to to the bad old days when large health insurance companies could discriminate against Americans with preexisting medical conditions.
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