Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker thinks the people of Wisconsin are stupid.

The governor has announced plans to make it dramatically harder for low-income Wisconsinites to get access to health care. He is literally turning down billions of dollars in federal money to expand BadgerCare, the state’s health insurance program for the unemployed and working poor, and other Medicaid programs.

And he is claiming that his move will help 224,580 Wisconsinites find coverage while cutting the state’s uninsured population by 47 percent.

Before speaking at a GOP Lincoln Day Dinner, according to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, the governor said he is rejecting federal support for expanding access to Medicare because: “It empowers people to go in the private sector and find affordable health care options.”

That’s ridiculous.

But not as ridiculous as Walker’s fantasy about how much it costs to obtain an individual insurance plan. According to the Leader-Telegram, Walker says that under the health insurance exchanges, an individual insurance plan will be available “for $19 a month.”

That’s a cruel lie.

If the governor disagrees, we would invite him to give up his taxpayer-funded health insurance and see if he can purchase a policy for $19.

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to tctvoice@madison.com. Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

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(47) comments

axolotlsx5
axolotlsx5

what a joke and lie, it cost me over $130 just for medicare which doesnt pay anything on alot of things. i have hemophia and 1 shot cost $3500 medicare pays nothing on blood products.

Rainwalker
Rainwalker

I can only speak from personal experience. When I had a job with employer health insurance, I rarely looked at the costs involved to me because they never amounted to much. After I lost my job towards the end of George Bush's presidency I could not find an insurance company to cover me because I had cancer (a highly curable form) four years earlier. I ended up paying for COBRA for the 18 months offered. Towards the end of that time, I finally found a company that would cover me. But, I had to get a high deductible policy because I could only afford so much for premiums. Essentially what I got was insurance in case something catastrophic happened. In the real world, what that means is that I pay for everything each year because I do not meet the deductible. I only go to the doctor if I am really sick, so essentially rarely.

My personal feeling is that there are some things that should not be profit motivated and healthcare is one of those things. We are far behind other industrialized nations. I always try to put myself in other people's shoes. How would I feel if I had a sick child and could not afford decent healthcare.

I just do not believe Governor Walker is looking at the best interests for all the working poor. And, I think the thousands of jobs that would have been created accepting the medicaid expansion are jobs that this state really needs.

Lowden
Lowden

@uwjeff - CONGRATULATIONS on your $400,000 plus annual income. That is the only TAX increase signed into law by the fine President Barack Obama, who has not come even remotely close to the 'idiot goofball fake Texan slacker' George Bush who broke even Ronnie Reagans record for days off.

The Social Security payroll deduction temporary reduction that expired is not a tax increase and was approved of by the House and Senate.

uwjeff
uwjeff

of course as any 'smart' Harvard educated politician would point out: "Hey -- if you listened closely, you'll notice that I said that I wouldn't raise taxes by a 'single dime'........no where did I say that it wouldn't be more than that. "

uwjeff
uwjeff

You want an even bigger lie: Google and do some research on which of your favorite politicians (Hint: He's currently serving as our Golfer in Chief) said the following :

"you will not see your taxes increased a single dime"

Bill_Starbuck
Bill_Starbuck

Obama said on Feb 24, 2009:

"In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. But let me perfectly clear, because I know you’ll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-of-President-Barack-Obama-Address-to-Joint-Session-of-Congress


Payroll tax holiday was implemented Dec 2010, reducing payroll taxes from 6.25 to 4.25. As the price to pay for getting an increase in taxes to the top 1+%, GOP demanded the payroll tax holiday be killed. This will happen this year. Payroll taxes will go back to 6.2% where they were at the beginning of Obama's first term.

thus, NO TAX INCREASE for those making less than $450,000.

Bill_Starbuck
Bill_Starbuck

Obama said on Feb 24, 2009:


"In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. But let me perfectly clear, because I know you’ll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime."


http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-of-President-Barack-Obama-Address-to-Joint-Session-of-Congress

Payroll tax holiday was implemented Dec 2010, reducing payroll taxes from 6.25 to 4.25. As the price to pay for getting an increase in taxes to the top 1+%, GOP demanded the payroll tax holiday be killed. This will happen this year. Payroll taxes will go back to 6.2% where they were at the beginning of Obama's first term.


thus, NO TAX INCREASE for those making less than $450,000.

Bill_Starbuck
Bill_Starbuck

ANYBODY.....HOw do you get paragraphing to work?

mikeylikesit
mikeylikesit

Listen to the Cap Times rant and rave.

A major problem is that the $19 figure is not Walker's; it's Obama's. The ACA legislates that the exchanges cap insurance contributions at a percentage of the poverty line for people below certain income levels. $19 is the amount an individual living in poverty would currently have to pay based on current federal poverty level guidelines.

Meanwhile, Walker is simply making the decisions that may help Wisconsin best deal with the impact of the ACA implementation. The federal money is only for three years, after which the burden is tossed back onto Wisconsin. The money is meant to be transitional, an enticement to get states, which are already strapped, to commit to more health care spending. The problem is that Wisconsin had already committed to more Medicaid spending, and thus the strings attached to the transitional money would probably have little effect except to saddle Wisconsin with costs that the state can little afford.

Of course, the Cap Times forgets to mention any of these complicating details. Turning down federal money is turning down federal money, and the presentation of information ends there. Never mind that Walker is simply using a number provided for him by the Obama administration and Congress, or that the federal dollars might not ultimately help Wisconsin fiscally in the long run. Wisconsin's schools and universities have already been cannibalized to pay for the rising costs of Medicaid. Does the Cap Times propose even more education cuts in three years to pay for the sudden burden on the state after federal funding ends?

If the federal government wants to create a national health system, let the federal government do so. What the ACA has given us is a more byzantine system with even more perverse economic incentives and an even more complicated patchwork of federal, state, business, and individual spending.

CarolASThompson
CarolASThompson

A national health system that left out the private health insurance companies wouldn't have been acceptable to those interests. They made an alliance with the Harvard-connected health fascists, who wanted to impose tyranny over the details of everyone's personal lifestyles, based on quackery, fraud and charlatanism, and that's how the ACA was created. And the Harvard-connected shyster lawyers concocted specious arguments for how it's supposedly Constitutional for the government to force people to buy private health insurance at the point of a gun, while Harvard-connected economists concocted financial lies that smeared their supposed beneficiaries and whitewashed the greedy.

The bottom line is that it would have been both Constitutional and cheaper to eliminate the exclusion of the costs of employer-paid health insurance from the federal income tax, which costs the government $246 billion in lost revenue per year, and use the money to pay for health care for people who can't afford it. But they created a Big Lie that people without insurance are supposedly cheating the system, and that this ridiculous system of subsidized insurance premiums they invented was the remedy. This is flagrant nonsense, because people who can't afford to pay for their health care are even less able to pay health insurance premiums. The average annual health care costs of uninsured people that they didn't pay out of pocket is only $1140, while the average subsidy to buy health insurance under the ACA is expected to be $5000 or more! Meanwhile, those with employer-paid cost an average of $1576 in lost tax revenue, yet their media propaganda machine succeeded in portraying the uninsured as freeloaders and a burden, and the extravagant bonus to the health insurance companies as a bargain! And they even got away with imposing fines to punish anyone who refuses to buy health insurance, when less-wealthy people would actually be saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars in subsidy costs.

And the real point is tyrannize our personal lives under the pretexts of "wellness" and "prevention," which are required for every ACA-approved plan, and whose content is to be dictated by the incompetent charlatan-believers at HHS. This is why the ACA should be repealed, and those who inflicted it on us should be prosecuted for conspiracy, fraud and racketeering.

ghost
ghost

This comment battle inspired me to actually research the law.

The law includes a sliding scale subsidy for people participating in the exchanges, linked to income. People earning 100% of the federal poverty limit are guaranteed to pay no more than 2% of their annual income in health insurance premiums. The federal poverty limit is currently $11,170 for an individual, $23,050 for a family of 4. At 150% of the poverty limit, the max contribution is 4% of income. At 200% the max is 6.3%, at 300% the max is 9.5%, 400% is the max income for subsidies and the annual max is also 9.5% of income.

Based on this, the annual premium for a family of 4 would cap out at the following levels:
$23,050/yr- max annual premium $441 ($36.75/mo)
$34,575/yr- max annual premium $1383 ($115.25/mo)
$46,100/yr- max annual premium $2904.30 ($242.03/mo)
$69150/yr- max annual premium $6569.25 ($547.44/mo)

The $19/mo figure would be roughly the max contribution of a single person earning $11,170/yr.

mikeylikesit
mikeylikesit

So Walker is simply following guidelines set by a Democratic Congress and the Obama administration in citing the $19 figure, and the Capt Times is attacking him for what is written in a law that they supported?

Figures. Apparently Congress did have to pass the bill before the Cap Times would bother to find out what is in it. Now that they have, they are complaining at a Republican governor rather than at the ACA's authors.

mrb2563
mrb2563

Nav, They do know. They don't care. There isn't anything in it for them.

goldenskyhook
goldenskyhook

What is not being addressed here, is the fact that BadgerCare is virtually useless, because providers are not legally required to accept it. I know someone who is on BadgerCare, and has called every dentist in a four county area. There was not ONE single dentist that accepted it, and was taking new patients. BadgerCare is a sham, if it can't be used to care for basic medical and dental problems.

Bluezee
Bluezee

Access dental is the only place Badgercare recipients can go.
It had been a real problem with dentists because they can't get the state to pay the ridiculous rates they charge. As far as the medical....it's really good.

dliddicoat
dliddicoat

I challenge all who wish to bash each other on here, to stop and see if you can use only original, fact based ideas which can be supported by a fact based source. Considering the majority of what is on here is half truths, misleading, unstable factually or hiding undertones of racism and prejudice, I imagine the intelligent and articulate comments would be easier to find.

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

"A single person with income at the poverty level set by the federal government - $11,490 a year - would pay a maximum premium of $228 - or $19 a month - for the coverage through the exchanges. A family of four with income just above the poverty level - $23,550 - would pay a premium of up to $468."

The $19 a month figure is a subsidized amount.

More misdirection from the Cap Times...shocking.

MadCityYokal
MadCityYokal

Yes, and then on top of this are the co-payments, which add up quickly. If you can barely afford $19, how can you afford co-payments of $20 or $30 or $40 -- which they are currently? You need to delve more deeply into this plan. Don't just stop at the $19 fee. It is one of many folks with little to no money would have to pay, as they are paying now.

PapaLorax
PapaLorax

ok - but the premise is $19 is not ever going to happen.

The article was attempting to say: "See how stupid Walker is...he thinks you can get a policy for $19...what an idiot."

The Cap Times isn't even trying anymore to write intelligent articles.

tomtom33
tomtom33

If one can barely afford $19, they aren't going to be buying health insurance. There are other ways they can be cared for.

POGO
POGO

The old adage "Liars figure and figures lie" pertains to Walker. No one in recent memory has lied more than Walker, with the exception of George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Rummy, and of course Mitt and Paul Ryan. Thank goodness the American people saw through the lies of the latter 2, but were scared into believing the Bush administration. As Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us!" This also pertains today to the partisan gridlock that is Washington, remember, we voted this ideologues into office.

Shake
Shake

For profit health insurance has just one objective: make money for the investors. This country will have high costs and ineffective healthcare results as long as we avoid doing what the rest of the world has done and go to a single payer system.

Wenebojo
Wenebojo

You forgot to add build golf courses.

tomtom33
tomtom33

The government is so efficient that we ought to have government grocery stores. We ought to outlaw profit period. Know any place like that?

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

Way to hit on a phony republican meme tomtom.

There are some things, like say the military, that operate more efficiently and effectively under government direction. Looking at the models from the rest of the western world I'd suggest that healthcare is another area where we would benefit from government direction.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Do you know how much it costs, per soldier, to have then in a combat zone? That is why we contract out as much as we can. Defense is a proper function of government but not because government is so efficient. I was in the Army infantry during Vietnam. I have seen military "efficiency" first-hand. Were you ever in the military?

If the healthcare models from the rest of the world were so compelling, we would have followed those models years ago. Why do you suppose that the Federal employee health system is run by private companies?

Bluezee
Bluezee

you are right shake. Healthcare should NOT be for profit!!

Bluezee
Bluezee

How did we elect our village idiot for governor?

DriveThru
DriveThru

Those federal health care funds would have created tens of thousands of good paying WI jobs. With Walker and the GOP in control, its no wonder WI is losing jobs while other states are growing.

Big B
Big B

Well Wisconsin....You allowed Walker to make these stupid decisions when you re-elected him during the recall election. It'll definately cost all the tax payers more money to pay for all the low income and disabled medical cost's but hey....you all voted for this to happen!

Big B
Big B

Walker should give up his Taxpayer supported Health care for his family and prove to Wisconsin Residents that he can purchase health care coverage for as little as $19. month, and if not then accept the Federal money for Healthcare for the low income and disabled, if not be prepared State of Wisconsin to pay for everyone's Medical need's

CarolASThompson
CarolASThompson

"Wisconsin is in a bit of a weird position. Before the Affordable Care Act passed, it was one of just three states providing coverage to childless adults up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line ($22,240 for an individual)... In effect, Wisconsin provides a lot of the Medicaid coverage that is new to other states. And it will keep doing that moving forward: Medicaid coverage will be available to all Wisconsinites under the federal poverty line, reopening that program for low-income adults who had previously had an enrollment cap.. That’s not quite as many as would gain coverage under the Medicaid expansion, although it’s relatively close: 224,580 instead of 252,678. The premiums for those who ended up purchasing coverage on the exchange, instead of receiving it through Medicaid, are relatively low for those right at the poverty level. They would increase as income went up. (Can Wisconsin expand coverage without Medicaid? Governor Walker thinks so. Posted by Sarah Kliff on February 13, 2013.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/13/can-wisconsin-expand-coverage-without-medicaid-governor-walker-thinks-so/

JoeBiteme
JoeBiteme

Most people in this category will not purchase any coverage, will not be able to get employer coverage if they work (many employer plans will be dropped) and will not file a tax return to avoid the penalty. A decade from now we will all be scratching our heads and wondering how this could have happened.

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

This editorial would have benefited from providing a little of the data the updated Cap Times promised to provide.

Absent more complete data, I would suggest that Walker might have an accurate number. Doesn't the ACA allow individuals making X percentage of the poverty level to purchase subsidized policies? My guess is Walker's figure takes this into account.

FTR: this doesn't mean I support Walker's choices.

Wenebojo
Wenebojo

The key word here is GUESS.

mikeylikesit
mikeylikesit

It also happens to be a correct guess. The $19 figure is the one provided by the ACA, which caps the price of subsidized policies as a percentage of the federal poverty guidelines. Congress and the Obama administration set the $19 figure, and Walker is simply abiding by it.

Leave it to the Cap Times to attack Walker for a figure that was created by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and the rest of the Democrats in Washington. Far be it from a progressive newspaper to actually complain where complaints are due.

Nav
Nav

This article says it all. What more is there to say?

Republican leaders simply do not connect with the ordinary people. They do not understand their problems, their struggles.

The sooner the people realize this fact, the more willing they will be to send these Republicans packing, and the better off our State will be.

Shake
Shake

They are not paid to understand ordinary people, they are paid to serve their masters.

MadCityYokal
MadCityYokal

I am not over simplifying nor over stating the following truth -- this will shorten lives. There are people living hand to mouth who are single without children and have diseases like cancer. They are currently struggling to make co-payments on the current plans that exist, what little this provides. Already they are tapping out friends and family to cover the co-payments.
Now our Governor is saying that he will give them the privilege of buying their own health care. BUYING their own health care?! With what? Air?
When did our society become so cruel and thoughtless? When did we all become so dissascoiated that we no longer understand the plight of others? When did our communities become so disconnected that we no longer understand that the pain and suffering of one community member is the pain and suffering of all community members?
I am not talking about handouts. I am talking about hard working people who, for whatever reason (fate, timing, workplace closings, etc.) fell on hard times and then came down with a catastrophic disease. These folks are NOT "takers." They, like you and me, have been paying into the system and are now in need of the system. These folks will not be able to make the payments that Walker is claiming they can. The result is that they will die faster. This is not right, equitable, nor what we should be supporting here in Wisconsin.

tomtom33
tomtom33

"In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three."
http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/PA694.pdf

I know we should double our spending again. How does $40,000 per year for every poor person sound? I'm sure that isn't enough, either.

ObbieZ
ObbieZ

If you believe numbers put out by the Cato Institute, then I've got a bridge to sell you.

tomtom33
tomtom33

If you have numbers that you believe are more credible, feel free to post a link.

MadCityYokal
MadCityYokal

You clearly do not know how the system works if this is your response to what I have written. The people I am referring to do not see or receive the supposed money you are noting. In the current system, they don't qualify for such funds. If they did, I wouldn't be writing.
Our system is broken and Walker's solution breaks it up into even smaller pieces.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Then where is the money going?

LiLa
LiLa

How much of that $20,610 is used to cover administrative expenses?

tomtom33
tomtom33

My guess would be none. Administrative expenses are absorbed by other parts of the leviathan. That's how Medicare shows such low overhead. Little things like costs of financing and premium collection are not cited. Nor is fraud.

JudgeSmails
JudgeSmails

When did our society become so cruel and thoughtless? When did we all become so dissascoiated that we no longer understand the plight of others? When did our communities become so disconnected that we no longer understand that the pain and suffering of one community member is the pain and suffering of all community members?

Answer: When a bunch of lefties decided that government can fix all of our problems.

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