A proposal to shift state employee health benefits from a competitive HMO model to a self-insured program could be gathering momentum, with Gov. Scott Walker scheduled Tuesday to discuss the matter with health plan executives.

A committee of the state’s Group Insurance Board, which oversees state employee health benefits, is set to take up the issue Oct. 11.

Employers that self-insure pay benefits directly and assume the risk for losses instead of buying insurance plans to deliver benefits and cover the risk. Such employers still typically hire insurance companies to process claims and contract with providers.

Wisconsin contracts with 18 HMOs in various parts of the state, and employees choose among them, in what is known as a fully insured program.

At least 20 states have self-insurance programs for all state employees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A report by Deloitte consultants in October 2012 said Wisconsin could save $20 million — but might spend $100 million more — by switching 236,000 state employees and their family members to a self-insurance model.

A follow-up analysis by Deloitte this August said the state could save 4 percent to 5 percent a year by becoming self-insured. The savings would come mostly from avoiding taxes and fees under the Affordable Care Act for fully insured health plans.

The same report said, however, that the state’s current “managed competition” arrangement saves 4 percent to 5 percent a year. Self-insurance could force some workers to find new doctors and pay a higher proportion of their medical bills, the report said.

Switching to a self-insured program “may be advisable in some regions of the state,” the report said, if insurance companies that get substantial discounts from doctors and hospitals handle claims in those regions.

The report said the state should seek formal, binding proposals from insurance companies interested in administrating the self-insured program and study the issue further. The earliest potential starting date for self-insurance would be Jan. 1, 2015.

The Group Insurance Board committee will consider seeking the proposals Oct. 11, said Rob Marchant, deputy director of the Department of Employee Trust Funds, which oversees state employee benefits.

“If on balance they received a proposal they wanted to proceed with, they could, but they aren’t bound to,” Marchant said. “This is a way that they can get actual solid numbers and data.”

Walker’s spokesman, Tom Evenson, said the governor planned to meet Tuesday with health insurers and providers to receive input on proposals before the Group Insurance Board.

The Wisconsin Association of Health Plans — which represents 10 HMOs in Wisconsin, including the four main ones in Dane County — planned a conference call for members Tuesday morning to prepare for the meeting with the governor.

An agenda for the call makes it clear the meeting with the governor will focus on the self-insurance proposal.

The association is against the proposal, saying it would increase the state’s health costs by $200 million or more, disrupt patient-provider relationships, create instability in the Medicaid program, increase financial risk to the state and result in the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs, the program says.

“Self-funding the State Plan using a single-payer/administrator system would threaten Wisconsin’s competitive health insurance market by eliminating 15 percent of the fully insured market,” a statement by the group said.

Contact David Wahlberg at

dwahlberg@madison.com

or 608-252-6125; contact Steven Verburg at sverburg@madison.com or 608-252-6118; contact Matthew DeFour at mdefour@madison.com or 608-252-6144.

David Wahlberg is the health and medicine reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

Steven Verburg is a reporter covering politics with a focus on environmental issues for the Wisconsin State Journal.

Matthew DeFour covers state government for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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(202) comments

HockeyTeam

HMO's are ok, especially in Wisconsin, they can reduce the price of monthly premiums in relation to the coverage they can offer.

On the other hand most our PRIVATE companies which are out for profit, and ALL have to determine costs based on the entirety of it's insured population, and they do not provide coverage to any provider.

Self insurance, if structured correctly can save groups immensely on costs, as they can set up true wellness incentives, coverage for ANY provider, while still negotiating lower fee schedules.

Just look around the Madison area. Dean has no incentive to keep people healthy, if they did they couldn't transfer money from the insurance plan to the clinic system. On the other hand the self-insurance group has every incentive to set up all the preventative and wellness programs and bonuses they can think of as it will save them money AND make all their employees more productive.

Whatsup25
Whatsup25

Headline should read , Scott Walker talks to HMO about how money he can put in his scumbag party by shifting employees to self insured and screw taxpayers in the long run.

paulwesterberg

Prediction, Walker will create a public/private corporation to provide health insurance for public workers, he will appoint friends with no insurance experience who will in short order miss-manage the money and misplace millions of dollars. In order to cover the shortfall and increased state spending on roads and WEDC business grants, employee health insurance converge will be reduced to the minimum allowable levels.

blockhead

Yep. And our accumulated sick leave reserves will be worthless.

pov

So many comments and yet relatively few address the quality of care found in my HMO of over 15 years. My HMO has served me well and is rated #8 in the nation. How many private insurers can claim that record Governor Walker ?

There may well be benefits to the state when our citizens live longer and in better health.

Dode
Dode

Seems to me the HMOs are not public but private entities. A few coops, but I am not aware of any that are public.

blockhead

Anything Walker does with regard to state employees is highly suspect after playing us as "haves" versus "have-nots" to get elected, and then crushing 50 years of state union law.

We are no longer able to negotiate benefits like health insurance. What is Walk up to, trying to grab power in this area.

ghostie


I see the paid Gov. Drop-Out trolls are out full force today. Of course it makes perfect sense to take a good program and exchange it for one that would cost 200 million to implement!!!!. Walker is such a shameless jerk. Anything to get publicity and get his name on the list to run for President.

Typothetes

That is pretty harsh, ghostie, and does not seem to be a fair reading of the article. The article never says that Walker supports self-insurance. Rather, it reports that Walker was meeting with HMOs and employee groups to discuss the issues. It looks to me like Walker is trying to be inclusive in the process of examining potential improvements for health coverage for state employees. It seems rather biased, to me, for you to slam him for gathering information.

The article does not provide enough information for me to evaluate whether self-insurance would be better for Wisconsin, or whether keeping the currents plans would be better. Which method do you think is better, ghostie, and why?

blockhead

Walker staffers have a history of being on line during working hours supporting his re-elections and "policy" positions.

TheRestOfTheStory

I don't think it's overly harsh actually. Walker has a habit of making his decision, then stating that he hasn't decided anything to the public until hours before Senate sessions end a bill is introduced without discussion and pushed through. It's the liar's method of 'practicing' at being a governor and it's what he does.

paulwesterberg

The Guv needs those HMO companies to make some campaign contributions in order to determine if the current system is "Working".

lute

A tribute to the boss would most likely be appreciated.

Scott Kevin Walker shaking down the HMOs in public- Wisconsin style! That takes some brass...lol.

Typothetes

Do you , lute, or do you paul, prefer self-insurance or the current plan, or are you just going to complain about whichever way Walker decides to go?

I'd prefer to hear about your opinions on the options rather than condemnation of Walker. I don't know enough to prefer either option mentioned in the article.

blockhead

Please speak to Walker's record in regard to public employees, typo.

Nothing good can come of this proposal. Walker HAS DONE NOTHING to benefit average citizens, including state employees.

Everything is for his wealthy tea party donors and his own personal political advancement.

lute

I condemn everything Walker has done as Governor. He is a dishonest, vicious sociopath guided by nothing but his own amoral self-serving ambition. So, I can't possibly take seriously any "options" Walker may be considering. He is ripping apart the good things in this state that were 150+ years in the making.

Through trickery and chance, a group of people with no ethics or empathy have taken control of all positions of power in this state. The unchecked power held by Walker and his minions makes what I think about his charade of "options" or "gathering information to decide" fairly meaningless.

I do think the current plan works just fine, though :-)

Oh, I agree with blockhead, too...

Norwood44

Private sector citizens have their health insurance plans changed regularly. There are 5.7 million people in the state of Wisconsin. This is an insurance modification for less than 5% of the population. Not a revocation, a modification. We have spent too much time discussing the 5%. We should spend more time discussing the rest of us.

Reply
Reply

Okay, Nor, the stage is yours.

TheRestOfTheStory

What is to discuss? Has Walker come after the private sector insurance plans, or has he just not come up with a way to screw them over yet? I know, let's talk how much money the Insurance companies have supplied Scotty and see if there's any corresponding 'coincidence' that the GOP should take this up now. In a hurry. In private. Oh, I mean, transparently.

freddiebell

For the most part I do not object to the conservative points of view here, in the sense that they are consistent with the core beliefs of their proponents. They are entitled to their opinions, and I believe that many of the conservative posters here, like their liberal counterparts, are essentially good people who want for good things to happen. Each side just happens to see things through a different prism and arrives at its own interpretations and conclusions. That is fine -- it is what democracy is all about, and for my part I welcome the food for thought (albeit more so when stated respectfully and without rancor or snarkiness) even where I do not concur.

What disappoints me, however, is that I hear absolutely no call from the conservative side for a challenger to Scott Walker in a 2014 primary. Whatever one might think of his agenda, he has been unnecessarily polarizing (beginning with, but not limited to, "Divide and Conquer"), unwilling to compromise and engage in true shared governance, has demonized public sector workers well beyond simply asking for some share sacrifice (and did so too far and too fast for the well-bring of the state economy), has not come close to fulfilling his notorious 250,000 jobs pledge, has been at the center or nearby edges of various issues of poor judgment and even outright scandal, has spent excessive time out of state on personal fundraising ventures, has allowed his "laser beam focus" upon job creation to be diluted and diverted by extraneous social issues in the legislature, and governs barely with a 50% approval rate even in the best of polls -- among numerous other concerns that could be listed. Do conservatives all agree in unison that he alone is the best person to govern this state from the Republican side? Might there be another candidate who could satisfy their political preferences but also be less polarizing, more inclusive, more devoted to this state, and less likely to dance on the razor's edge of a majority in a critically important election?

I would welcome here some thoughtful conservative insights into why Scott Walker should not face a primary challenge from within his own party and why they feel a need to march in lockstep with him ("I Stand With Walker") without considering any other potentially viable candidate(s). I stress that this is not an attempt to polarize or engage in additional purely partisan discourse. It is an effort to understand -- thus my plea for **thoughtful** and insightful commentary on the topic and not just knee-jerk reactions. I honestly would like to know why the conservative side by and large wants to cast its entire lot with Scott Walker, sink or swim, without taking an open and honest look at what might be some better alternatives for the long run.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Was there a call for a primary opponent for Obama in 2012? I don't recall whether or not Doyle had a primary before his second election.

Walker is far from perfect. But he seems to represent the WI GOP. He won the recall solidly. I think that a primary would be a waste of time as things stand today. I am much more interested in a strong Democratic opponent.

Norwood44

Freddie. It is an interesting notion. Certainly one I would consider, though I usually go Democratic. One thought, it is rare in politics for a party to consider a challenger to an incumbent who is currently unopposed. If the Dems run a candidate who is as polarizing on the left as Walker is on the right, there might be play for a moderate from either party.

Nav

There were many state employees who voted for Walker in the election SIMPLY because they misunderstood the Democrats. Look for these people to quickly learn that it is the Democrats who look after ordinary people and their interests, not the Republicans.

However, if people STILL want to vote against their own interests, more power to them!

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

What are the Democrats proposing?

I am a state employee and I pay $85 per month to participate in the same plan that I used when I was self employed and paid $135 per month. That is a slightly better deal for me, but the state also kicks in $1170 on top of the $85 I do each month. I really don't understand that, maybe you can enlighten me, but it seems like maybe the HMO's are taking a tad more than they need to offer me the same coverage now that I work for the state.

Hey, that is your money that they are spending. Doesn't that seem odd to you Nav?

Maybe the state would be better off acting as a single payer for state employees, not sure, but it seems worth looking into. I want my coverage, but I don't want to soak the taxpayers either. It seems like people are mad just because this is coming from the Walker administration. If the Democrats were proposing it(and they are, on a national level if you believe Hilary Clinton) I think peoples tunes would change dramatically.

pete
pete

nice to see it from your perspective.

freddiebell

Hogzilla: I think a large part of the issue is your argument in reverse: Walker does not care for ACA and does not want it for Wisconsin, preferring that the federal government not mandate such matters to the people, yet he endorses a not-dissimilar approach from his own side of the fence for our public sector workers, to the extent that it works for his own wants and needs. If I misstate the point, feel free to offer additional information -- this particular issue is not my strong suit. But even from a distance this reeks of a considerable amount of hypocrisy. Perhaps from your vantage point as a state employee it works fine. But many others in a similar situation see it very differently, and their perspective and experiences are no less valid than yours. Of course you are welcome to your opinion. But equally clearly, it is not necessarily representative of what others are up against and why they see things the way they do. If we take a straw poll here among public sector workers who regularly comment, it seems that your position on the state employee situation in this state is in a distinct minority, for what that is worth.

Norwood44

Freddie. There are a lot of public sector commenters on the board, vs private sector. Hog offers an alternative voice from that sector, which is enlightening. It must be an interesting thing to be a Republican or moderate conservative in government work these days.

davzgn
davzgn

Hogzilla, if you pay $85 a month, you have single coverage at the tier 1 rate so the state pays $511.70-$682.80 on top of your $85, depending on your plan. A little less than the $1170 you quoted

Reply
Reply

I assume you missed my post in the companion thread re: correction of the numbers you cited. As davzgn noted, your $85 is for a single tier 1 plan. 2014 premiums and co-pays are not significantly different than 2013's so that's what I'll use here.

Click here to go to ETF's 2014 guide.
Scroll down to pages 22 & 23.

You said in the other thread that you're in the Unity plan. Total premium is $667.20 (pg. 23), less your $88 contribution (pg. 22), which calculates to $579.20 ... not $1170.

Gotta admit, Hog, in 30 years you're the first State employee I've ever encountered complaining that the employer is paying too much. But now that we're in an open enrollment period there's an easy solution ... cancel your coverage. You might feel better knowing you're part of the solution instead of the problem.

motherlode
motherlode

Lute

It was planned all along.
Sorry. We couldn't reason with him,
either

lute

I know of at least on person who has already cancelled home purchase plans based on this news. This is bad, bad, bad for the state economy.

With Walker free to set deductibles and benefits (based on directions from somewhere deep in ALEC's bowels), I'd say health insurance for state employees is not going to be around in any reasonable, affordable form for much longer. There is nothing to stop him from stripping benefits to the bare minimum and raising costs to rub salt in the wound. That's what a right wing "rock star" does, after all.

This is a stunningly bold abuse of power, and apparently he can't be stopped. Why did this have to happen to Wisconsin, of all places?

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

How is putting Wisconsin taxpayers on the hook for $1235 per month per employee affordable? It's affordable for the state workers(we pay $85 of that out of pocket), sure, but what about all the other folks that are trying to afford insurance for their families? Doesn't it bother you that we get far more money dumped into our plans than you could likely even afford?

It bothers me and I am a benefactor of that system.

milton's fried man
milton's fried man

So stop participating hog . You're free to buy your own insurance.

Charles and David
Charles and David

Scott is one of our favorite governors in our stable. Not the smartest gelding, mind you, but quick to move, and completely obedient. He's doing great work in Wisconsin, and fully on board with the ALEC agenda, as he should be. We're predicting another big win in 2014, and we intend to back him up financially with virtual media ownership.

Dode
Dode

Gee, you liberals have wanted single payer insurance for so long. Governor Walker offers it for us state employees and now you don't want it. If you think this is going to cost the state much more money, imagine how much more 0bamacare is going to cost the country, especially after he kills the health insurance companies and we end up with single payer. How do you spell hypocrite? I spell it D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T.

koala

Gee, Dode, I thought you were all for the private sector, and now you are backing a socialistic, single-payer system run by the state. I'd call you a hypocrite (spelled T-E-A- -P-A-R-T-Y) except I think you know enough to realize that Walker's move – dictated by ALEC – is simply cover to reduce benefits and flay more skin off the backs of public employees. Yeah, that's right, I figure you see the possible tax break in it for you, the impact on other people be damned.

Well, damn Walker and his minions to hell for even thinking about this.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Whether the State is paying insurance premiums to insurance companies or to itself, it is single-payer. It is all paid by the taxpayer.

digger

It's interesting for someone who can't govern is now also an insurance pundit!
The guy ought to go rake leaves for the Koch twins!!

pete
pete

@ harvey who said: "Exactly how ignorant is your son's doctor?" As one of the leading cardiac docs in the region I'm gonna go with, not very. This was 11.5 years ago when she told us this. We didn't know who Barack Obama was, so if you're thinking she had a political agenda when she said it you couldn't be more wrong. Frankly I don't even know why she said it, it was completely unprovoked and we never followed up with a why' it was just something she said after he coded and I never forgot it.

blockhead

It's not ignorance, it's economic self interest. Doctors would make less under a government run single payer system, but it would be great for the rest of us mortals pulling down $50K a year instead of $500 K, like US cardio surgeons do.

Comment deleted.
Rosalie

A lot of people do the same thing all the time, including public employee firefighters.

Comment deleted.
blockhead

huh?

It's great that your doctor is so great, but most doctors oppose single payer, government regulated health insurance because it hits them in the pocket book, and I suspect your doctor may well feel the same way, regardless of whether or not she goes above and beyond the call of duty.

As I said, doctors would make less under a government run single payer system, but it would be great for the rest of us mortals pulling down $50K a year instead of $500 K, like US cardio surgeons do.

You've said nothing to counter the facts.

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

How convenient... a whole new controversy to avoid talking about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

Laser focused!

Self insuring State employees.... cost to Wisconsin tax payers $200,000,000

Cost in terms of Wisconsin jobs.... 1000 jobs lost

But he's Laser focused on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

blockhead

But, this is another way for Wisconsin to LOSE jobs!! That's what walker is best at.

bookman21
bookman21

No. Walker's greatest skill is looting the middle class.

MagnusP

The numbers may make sense for the government to self insure for now, but, I never saw a government program that did not cost more in the long run than if it is done by a competitive and properly regulated private sector.

BananaSplitz
BananaSplitz

That's fantastic--let's privatize the roads, then! What a great idea!

S54k

And schools.... Oh oh.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Great idea.

blockhead

Then you haven't looked at Medicare, Medicaid or the VA system, let alone advance countries with functional health care systems. The problem here is that this is an ALEC plan, and Walker is out to screw the state workers again.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Have you looked? The Medicare system is on pace to bankrupt the US. And that is the opinion of the Obama team.

blockhead

This earlier post deserves to be repeated periodically:


"Have you looked at the ALEC web-site lately. This proposal is not coming from Walker. It is directly from ALEC and the National Republican Governors Association. It is intended to be strictly a cost saving measure, with poor coverage and a high deductible. It's still part of the Republican plan to ratchet down benefits for public employees so they are less or equal to the private sector. They don't care that they are helping to destroy the middle class."

Liberal123

The defense of Governor Walker and members of the Republican legislatures, regardless of what they are caught doing is, by some on here is unbelievable.

With unflattering news about the Governor or some Republican legislatures appearing in statewide news every other day, I would have thought one of the hard core Republican defenders on here would have publically admitted that they have been wrong about the Governor all this time and, in good conscience, cannot support what he is doing to the state in general, and to its people in particular.

What are the chances that we will see someone do this? I am still doing what Jessie Jackson urges all of us to do; “Keep hope alive!”

Nav

I can virtually GUARANTEE you that what you hope for is NOT going to happen!

koala

Yep, I agree with Nav. The Usual Suspects will NEVER change their minds on Walker. You're assuming that Dode, tomtom33, crotch, etc. are open to logic and facts. Their repeated responses in dozens of situations show they are not. I'm coming to the conclusion that the best way to deal with them is to ignore them and not respond.

There's no point in mud wrestling with pigs. You'll get dirty, and the pigs like it.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Have you looked at the Obama administration lately?

blockhead

With the unions broken, "negotiation" over health plan benefits and deductibles are a thing of the past. Here in Madison, we have several plans competing. With a one Walker plan, we are dead fish in a barrel.

toby

just saw my rebuttals the tooth fairy one is my fav! that was truly funny!! I was surprised by the bill, in Italy but I think maybe the Dr. after work that day hoped on his moped and returned to his one room apt. not his Mercedes & spending the day at his summer house. just a wild guess...

array1

So Wisconsin could save up to 20 million or lose up to 200 million? Republican ingenuity at its finest!

Roundtable
Roundtable

I'm wonderin' how the Guv expects to pay for this?. Thru a payroll tax, as in other states?.Of course they would call it a fee or something else. Or thru an investment from ETF which could erode their great performance thru the years. One would think a survey of the employees affected would be done, not just shoved onto them.That's ALOT of people AND their families involved. But you know....

JAlfredPrufrock
JAlfredPrufrock

You're wondering how the Guv expects to pay for this?? Are you crazy? He won't pay for it. He'll it on to public employees and make them pay for it. They're vermin you know.

blockhead

You got it. That's also why a possible 200 million loss doesn't matter--we can pay for that too.

tomtom33
tomtom33

My guess is that he will pay for it the same way he currently pays for premiums.

ArchieBunkersKidBrother
ArchieBunkersKidBrother

I would "guess" that you would approve of anything Walker did or didn't do.

Lionhear

And Archie, I would "guess" that anything Walker does or doesn't do would meet with your disapproval.

tomtom33
tomtom33

You guess wrong. I don't blindly support any party.

irisK

Does this mean there will no longer be HMOs.
A Walker picked Insurance company will be making a profit (taking kickbacks) instead.
THis article is a clear as the ideas in Walker's head. Someone tells him something and he meets with executives (that sounds like a joke).
How much cash will this take out of the economy.

tomtom33
tomtom33

The job of administration will be put out for bids. Do you have something against saving the State money?

ArchieBunkersKidBrother
ArchieBunkersKidBrother

There is no corruption or cronysim in this state government. Just ask Brian DeShane.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Unfortunately, cronyism exists in all administrations regardless of party.

irisK

This will not save money. He will take any savings and hand it over to one of his donors.
The HMOs were meant to save money.
Why suddenly change something that works, and saves money, to something for ideological purposes.
This will result in taking away more cash from the state employees who will not be able to spend that money on buying things. Further starving the economy.

human

Maybe United Sportsmen will go into the health plan administration business.

blockhead

Single payer CAN save money by limiting doctor fees and profits and administrative costs. But it CAN also save money by limiting benefits and charging us more on deductibles. Walker has already added co-pays to our insurance plans. Now he wants to take complete control over our benefit plan and deductibles. If this passes, goodbye to our health insurance benefits and hello to huge person fees. As stated elsewhere, this is an ALEC formula.

blockhead

This earlier post deserves to be repeated periodically:


"Have you looked at the ALEC web-site lately. This proposal is not coming from Walker. It is directly from ALEC and the National Republican Governors Association. It is intended to be strictly a cost saving measure, with poor coverage and a high deductible. It's still part of the Republican plan to ratchet down benefits for public employees so they are less or equal to the private sector. They don't care that they are helping to destroy the middle class."

koala

AMEN.

It's yet another dumb-ALEC move, designed to rob from the less well off and give to the rich.

Anyone who votes for Walker and his fellow thieves is a fool.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Would that apply to Doyle and Obama?

witness2012

And, based on Walker's timing, any dissatisfaction with it he will blame on the Affordable Care Act being implemented.

JAlfredPrufrock
JAlfredPrufrock

That's right Scotty. Give those parasitic public employees and good for nothing egg heads the shaft they deserve. Those of us with neither degrees nor brains salute you! You're one of us!

Harvey

When "awful sauce" Walker says he is here to help you, grab your wallet and run. I guess he is not content in running job creation in this state down the crapper. Might as well do the same for health care.

right2bleft

From the head of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, today: "“With staggering tax hikes and job-killing regulations, Obamacare is no way to grow an economy,” continued Dougherty. “We should be focused on getting the government out of the way so that the private sector can create jobs – not the opposite.” So I guess they would be opposed to Walker's plan. Right?

ArchieBunkersKidBrother
ArchieBunkersKidBrother

It's fine when that revenue stream ends up in the hands of a few "friends". Follow the money for details about where our state contracts go now.

toadmanjack

Wait, he wants government supplied healthcare?

Beer not facebook
Beer not facebook

Walker wants State run death panels.

Comment deleted.
slf817

amen

Big Ed

When I taught in Green Bay we were self-insured and soon found that it was more expensive than getting insurance from private companies. That is why they did away with the program.

toobad

That was before the taxes, fines and mandates from 0bamacare. It's a whole new ballgame now. We're about to find out the consequences of horrible legislation.

Comment deleted.
toobad

It has everything to do if you were aware of anything more than talking points. Walker is simply removing 0bamacare's windfall profits from the Insurance Industry.

iponder

He couldn't break the best run retirement system in the Country so now he's moved on to something else that doesn't need to be fixed. HMO's are private businesses. I thought Walker only supported private sector solutions? Oh wait a minute....the money is not flowing from these entities.

slf817

amen

samster

He'll be back for the retirement system. WAYYYYYY to much money there to ignore .His handlers are not done with that.

sure2010

It is a "no brainer" to go self insured for an employer of this size(236,000 employees). As director of benefits of a 4,000 employee company, I was self insured. The benefits are in plan flexibility and network negotiation savings.

blockhead

Not here. This is just a way for Walker to destroy state worker benefits.

aspyder

Why would Walker need for the state to become self insuring to destroy state worker benefits? The state could buy into whatever policy they wanted right now and make the benefits whatever they wanted since there are no negotiations involving the employees. However I do understand why state employees would be leery of anything Walker was doing for (to?) them.
Like sure2010 wrote many large companies self insure and have good benefits and have had for years. This is not a new practice.

blockhead

With Walker's record to state workers, who in their right minds trust him? Giving him power over these benefits means disaster for state workers, and ultimately for the Government of Wisconsin, which depends on attracting good people with good benefits, not on salaries.

tomtom33
tomtom33

block, you don't trust any politician.

athabasca

Hmmm... aren't self-insured plans EXEMPT from certain state insurance mandates, like the ones on mental health and autism coverage?

Hey everyone, let's save money by throwing people with autism and their families under the bus!!

LightMyFire

So Walker is for a single payer system and against the free market?

Who knew?


Long waits for care and "death panels' must be next.

snootyelites

Democratic County Executive of Milwaukee wants to shift county employees to Obamacare. Shouldn't Walker be doing the same for State Government Employees. People that blame Walker, GOP & tea party etc are clueless low information voters with agendas.

http://m.jsonline.com/225842341.htm

Jambalaya

This is awesome... A single payer government controlled healthcare system, proposed by Republicans. You can't make this stuff up.

Whatsup25
Whatsup25

I wouldn't let Walker run my dogs bath water.

Badgergirl84

Please do some research beyond this completely biased, misleading and factless article. This article quotes NCSL for its basis, which says it all for how reliable it is.
You will see that it is great for everyone.

GodHeals

So glad you declared something, like a dad talking to a 3-year old, or like AM Radio high school graduates do (Limbaugh, Handity, Beck etc) to their low information crowd to stop them from thinking. Why very specifically will this be "great" for everyone? Something tells me if you follow the money you will learn who this is great for.

Wonder why this bill is being pushed:

http://www.wisdc.org/op091113.php

Observer5

Exactly- follow the money and you will find a big fat campaign contribution kickback to Scoooooter involved at some point.

Public Opinion

Badgergirl84 is clearly a planted shrill. People are free to voice their opinion, but to disguise yourself as an average citizen while trumpeting talking points for an organization is, well, dishonest.

Badgergirl84

FL and many other states and large businesses have done the same thing with Great results for the employees' health care and the state's/organization's finances.
It saves millions!!
This will also be a great savings to us taxpayers! Everybody wins.

bookman21
bookman21

The same way we all won with WEDC?

blockhead

Yes, lets follow the lead of Florida...

Badgergirl84

FL and many other states and large businesses have done the same thing with Great results for the employees' health care and the state's/organization's finances.
It saves millions!!
This will also be a great savings to us taxpayers! Everybody wins.

freddiebell

Badgergirl84: You are remarkably enthusiastic about this one issue. I'm in this forum relatively often and I don't recall other, regular postings from you in these pages over time. Do tell: what is your angle here? For whom do you work? Do you stand to gain personally from this measure? Are you a lobbyist, or a representative of one? Are you a relative of someone with a significant stake in the outcome?

I smell a setup here. In my eyes you are way too over the top in your comments to be just an average reader with an opinion.

Badgergirl84

This is a Great savings tool. It changes virtually nothing except how the insurance is paid.
The state takes on the risk costs, instead of the hmo.
Companies that self-fund also gain access to medical claims data, something fully insured HMOs do not provide. This allows employers to understand the true costs of their health care plans and to tailor those plans accordingly.
To provide better-quality health care for employees, more data is needed. Not having access to claims data made it difficult to do any forecasting or planning around the health plans.

human

So your employer would have access to your medical claims data. Sounds great!

blockhead

Goodbye to my benefits...

toby

Just got back from a trip to Europe. Had a chance talk to Brits & Canadians who love Americans but see the Republicans & our govt as absolutely crazy. Here is an example: My wife got sick in Italy had to go to the hospital to see a doctor... as I'm waiting for her I'm thinking 1000s of $.. she comes out with a diagnosis & script... when we go to pay it was 25 Euros, this summer she fell on a hiking trail in Co. had to go to emergency to clean out the palm of her hand; 1500$!!!! a couple we met from Canada said a friend of theirs had someone from the US marry them so they could get the Health Ins in Cananda, also the same woman had to see a Dr. in London and when she asked how to pay they said no its free..The Republicans are beholding to the HMO's and the CEO's of the Insurance Industry as they are their huge donors.....

tomtom33
tomtom33

Do you suppose that the rest of your Italian bill was paid for by the tooth fairy? Did you feel good about sticking hard-working Italian taxpayers with the balance?

Nothing is free.

Nav

tomtom33,

The point toby was trying to make, I think, was that practices in other countries are so very different. NONE of these countries is rushing to adopt the American health care system, which is inefficient. The people there seem HIGHLY satisfied that health care costs for them are minimal...period.

I suppose as a Conservative Republican it is very hard for you to see someone happy with a approach other than the one you propose.

robertsthc

I lived in Europe for many years and find this a bunch of bull. We had to pay cash before we even saw a doctor and had to wait 6 weeks for what one doctor called an emergency appendectomy. Why do you think so many foreign doctors practice in the U.S. Who wants to go to school for 10 years to be a civil servant... and who wants an underpaid civil servant doing surgery on you. And to agree with Tomtom, Italy's income tax is 43% and their national sales tax is 20%. Nothing is free.

TheRestOfTheStory

@robert below:

I'm calling BS on you. I lived in Europe for over 10 years. Never once did I have to pay cash to see any health care employee. Never once. My experience is up there with the Italian experience described above.

These doctors and nurses are well paid, not civil servants earning bare minimum wages.

Again, you are full of it and spreading lies about how a REAL healthcare system works. I sincerely doubt that you were ever in Europe or ever had any experiences with a hospital there.

Norwood44

Nav. Having read tomtom33's comments, it seems a stretch to call him a conservative republican. he seems independent and capable of rational thinking. He has stated he'd like an option other than Walker. Although he disagrees with you, your characterization of him is false and off point. you would help the tone of the board if you stayed on issue rather than lobbing personal accusations and false characterizations at other posters. it is beneath you. In this instance it would be great if you could speak to why Italian health care is so affordable. BTW, Italy is one of the European countries that has teetered on the brink of bankcruptcy and scandal for the last five years.

MadisonCitizen

I would further add that the high taxes and regulations of Europe have led to an economy with very low GDP growth and no job growth in the last two decades. Youth unemployment is 25-50%.

The medical story you tell is nice, however it has costs. As we inch closer to the regulatory and social nets of Europe, our GDP and job growth have dropped. The question is the balance of growth vs. spending and regulation.

freddiebell

@ robertsthc: Ditto the comments of TheRestOfTheStory. My own experience there also does not line up with yours. Lacking verification from you, and believing what I saw with my own eyes more than your unfamiliar assertions, I can only conclude that you either are lying in an effort to score political points or were duped by someone unscrupulous and did not do your homework. Either way the result is the same.

tomtom33
tomtom33

If the systems in other countries were all that great, we would have adopted them. I have several close friends who were born and raised in Europe. One of those friends is a radiologist in Germany. They all have their stories of failures. The German doctor would give anything to be able to practice in the US, but we will not give him a work VISA.

Instead of trying to define me, address the issues.

blockhead

"The German doctor would give anything to be able to practice in the US, but we will not give him a work VISA."

Yes, no doubt his income would be much higher here where Doctors have such a strong lobby.

tomtom33
tomtom33

His income would have been much higher, block. The doctor's lobby is what kept him out. They limit the number of doctors to increase the demand per doctor. That drives fees higher.

However, our medical system is not driven by any semblance of a free market. The government has run our healthcare system for decades.

blockhead

The market isn't free, but it's obviously not because of the government. Insurance companies and doctors protect their monopolistic self interests in a market place they have designed to be tremendously complex and opaque to shoppers..

tomtom33
tomtom33

"obviously not because of the government." You need to open your eyes to see.

GodHeals

Nothing is free: Like who will fund the insured when they show up at the Emergency Room for medical care. Come on, learn a thing or 2 about the insanity of this BS system of the USA.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-countries-that-spend-the-most-on-health-care-2013-07-30

Some specifics from the top 10 health care spending countries (source: owner of the WALL STREET JOURNAL):


#10. France

Health expenditure per capita: $4,118

Expenditure as a percentage of GDP: 11.6% (3rd highest)

Life expectancy: 82.2 years

Although nine countries in the OECD spent more on health care per person than France’s $4,118, only two countries exceeded France’s health care expense as a percent of GDP of 11.6%. The French have one of the longest life expectancies at birth of any developed nation at 82.2 years despite an above-average percentage of citizens who smoke and the second highest level of alcohol consumption in the OECD. France has made efforts to curb smoking and exposure to smoke in recent years. In 2007, smoking was prohibited in public places, although some residents and businesses have resisted the ban over the years.


9. Germany

Health expenditure per capita: $4,495

Expenditure as a percentage of GDP: 11.3% (4th highest)

Life expectancy: 80.8 years

While it spends nearly $4,500 per person, or 11.3% of GDP, on health care, Germany’s spending growth has been minimal Since 2000, health care expenditures have risen by an average of just 2.0% per year, one of the lowest annual average growth rates in the OECD. Germans have a high number of doctors and nurses per 1,000 residents, and each resident consults a doctor nearly 10 times a year on average.


8. Denmark

Health expenditure per capita: $4,495

Expenditure as a percentage of GDP: 11.1% (6th highest)

Life expectancy: 79.9 years

Denmark spent $3,827 per person in public funds on health care, more than all but four other countries. This accounted for 85.1% of all spending on health care in the country, the second-highest proportion in the OECD, behind only the Netherlands. Denmark had the second highest number of nurses in the OECD, relative to population, at 15.4 per 1,000 residents. Conversely, it spent the second lowest proportion of any OECD country on pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies, at just 7.4% of all health-care spending.


#1. United States

Health expenditure per capita: $8,508

Expenditure as a percentage of GDP: 17.7% (the highest)

Life expectancy: 78.7 years

The U.S. was by far the largest spender on health care at more than $8,500 per person, totaling an unmatched 17.7% of GDP. Just two other nations surveyed by the OECD, Mexico and Chile, joined the U.S. in covering less than half of all medical expenses through public funding. Still, the cost of health care in the U.S. was so high that public expenditures on health still amounted more than $4,000 per person, trailing only Norway. Also, while 90% of residents reported they were in “good” health, the most of any OECD nation, the U.S. led all member nations in obesity by a sizable margin, and had a life expectancy at birth of only 78.7 years—lower than 25 of the 34 OECD nations.

Norwood44

Godheals, thanks for the facts. In Land of Opinions, the person with facts is King.

pete
pete

good info. I'm curious to know how many illegal immigrants are free to visit emergency rooms in those countries? Our illegal immigrant population is higher than Denmark's entire population is it not?

I would also be curious to know what their malpractice insurance/sue rates are in those other countries? Any ideas?

Are 1 in 8 people on food stamps in those other countries?

Are those other countries getting fatter and fatter each year like the US? Does personal responsibility come in to play at some point? God knows we can't talk about it here..."continue to eat bad food and not take care of yourself and if you get sick we'll take care of you, it's not your fault"

There's no doubt our healthcare system needed an overhaul but to give it to the (our) gov't to make it more affordable..?.c'mon

robertsthc

Before you believe these numbers, factor in the over 150 billion in Medical Research the U.S. does every years. This is included in Expenditures per capita and dwarfs any other country.

aspyder

A few years ago a 60 Minutes type program was on the TV. It pointed out some of the reasons for the lower cost and longer life in France. As I recall it stated that doctors were paid around $50k @ year and when 911 was called a team that specialized on your perceived problem was dispatched, including with a doctor, and you were taken to a hospital that specialized in your condition not just the closest.

Although we might be able to incorporate a lot of the 911 ideas I don't know if you'd get a doctor to ride along and I'm confident you wouldn't be able to pay our doctors less than our auto mechanics.

buckthorn

Do you ever ask people in this country how they feel sticking the rest of us with the cost of the ER care they receive because they have no insurance? At least in Western Europe and other highly-developed countries (e.g., Japan, Taiwan), most people have the sense to view health insurance and health care as public goods, rather than commodities to be subjected solely to market forces and the more narrow interests of private corporations. Are these systems perfect? Far from it. But they're a heckuva a lot more sensible and economical than what we have. The question remains unanswered: why are we so stupid?

blockhead

Nothing is free, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper per capita with single payer, universal coverage.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Evidence? If single payer, universal coverage was such a wonderful idea, we would have had it for years already.

blockhead

"Evidence? If single payer, universal coverage was such a wonderful idea, we would have had it for years already."

Not if a lot of groups with a self-interested profit motive (insurance companies, doctors) lobby for a "free-market" approach, centered on employer provided plans.

TT, you clearly don't know anything about the history of our current system, how it came to be, or why it's so inefficient. 300 million + payers is a heck of a large risk pool to spread costs over...

blockhead

Or, TT, you could just read the stats below posted by GodHeals.
Instead of mindlessly repeating the same thing over and over..."if its so good, we would have done it, ...blah blah.

tomtom33
tomtom33

block, I can cite stats to prove just about anything I would like to prove. You have to look beneath stats.

blockhead

There are hundreds of studies showing the relative efficiency of health systems. By dismissing them, your comment just show you to be willfully ignorant.

tomtom33
tomtom33

If those hundreds of studies would show consensus, we would have been doing that already. Have you read them all?

pete
pete

a quote from our son's doctor after heart surgery: "In a single payer system your son would be dead" He's 12 today

Getting sick and cutting your hand is nothing like a waiting list to have holes in your heart repaired. There's a reason why Canadians often come to the US for surgeries.

Harvey

B.S. A Canadian study found less than 1% of Canadians come to this country to get treatment. Of course, so many Americans went to Canada to buy drugs under the Bush administration, the drug companies threatened to stop selling their drugs to Canada and the Bush administration tried to tell people their drugs were not as good as our drugs (same drugs BTW). Even considered a law which would have made it a crime to buy drugs in Canada.

Questions:

If a single payer system is so bad and your son would be dead today, how come people in single payer systems have longer life expectancy than us?

How come Americans pay more than every other country but rank 38th by the world health organization.

How many countries (including Canada) have gone from a single payer plan to a private plan like we have?

Exactly how ignorant is your son's doctor?

aspyder

" ... how come people in single payer systems have longer life expectancy than us?"

Assuming ALL stats are gathered EXACTLY the same there is also:
1) Guns - FREEDOM
2) Overweight - the keep telling us how obese we are compared to everywhere else.
3) I personally would think we drive more and accept drinking and driving more than the rest of the world.

"How come Americans pay more than every other country but rank 38th by the world health organization."

That rank of #38 is based on life expectancy so the same answers apply EXCEPT for adding the free enterprise system for cost.

"How many countries (including Canada) have gone from a single payer plan to a private plan like we have?"

How many times have you seen government relinquish control of anything?

Ignorant doctor? Perhaps, but then he is LIVING in the system.

blockhead

Son's doctor has vested interested (his fees) in bad-mouthing single payer.

Nav

It seems to me that this administration is totally incompetent! They have no idea what they are doing, and they have no idea how to govern.

They come up with radical ideas out of the blue.

There is nothing wrong with the State's health insurance plan. There is no need to 'fix" anything.

What the Governor needs to be doing is creating the 250,000 jobs he promised the voters of Wisconsin thumping his chest!

Badgergirl84

Lol yeah ok you really don't have a clue dude. It's been just a wee bit hard to get businesses to open here with the recall and impending election. Governor Walker has been doing Great despite this. Our state is moving forward very strongly!!!
When business owners are unsure if gov walker will be staying, they're not going to make the leap. They don't want to deal with an inhospitable business climate (a lib wi gov).
Once he is re-elected our state will boom with increased jobs.
http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/promises/walk-o-meter/promise/526/create-250000-new-jobs/

S54k

Do you get to charge walker 3 times for making the post 3 times?

blockhead

That was a mistake, she's never posted here before, and was assigned this job by Walker this morning.

Badgergirl84

Lol yeah ok you really don't have a clue dude. It's been just a wee bit hard to get businesses to open here with the recall and impending election. Governor Walker has been doing Great despite this.
When business owners are unsure if gov walker will be staying, they're not going to make the leap. They don't want to deal with an inhospitable business climate (a lib wi gov).
Once he is re-elected our state will boom with increased jobs.
http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/promises/walk-o-meter/promise/526/create-250000-new-jobs/

Badgergirl84

Lol yeah ok you really don't have a clue dude. It's been just a wee bit hard to get businesses to open here with the recall and impending election. Governor Walker has been doing Great despite this.
When business owners are unsure if gov walker will be staying, they're not going to make the leap. They don't want to deal with an inhospitable business climate (a lib wi gov).
Once he is re-elected our state will boom with increased jobs.
http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/promises/walk-o-meter/promise/526/create-250000-new-jobs/

Norwood44

President Obama was elected on the issue of health care reform. Our current model is incredibly costly to average Americans. It's good to see politicians from both parties searching more affordable, efficient ways to provide good health care for patients at an affordable cost. The health care model needs a serious overhaul. Just look at Madison. Large systems fueding, land grabs for clinics. How does this benefit citizens?

geo_

Just another example of the republican philosophy of shifting costs to the future for immediate small gains. Most of the state employees near retirement age have already left state employment thanks to Act 10. As the state work force ages and their health claims rise Walker will be long gone from the governors office(I hope) and state taxpayers will left with the increasing healthcare bill.

Nav

You are absolutely right Geo. This is a classic strategy by Republicans to win elections. Start talking about artificial financial crisis in a state, cut Government programs under the pretense of showing how they are fiscally responsible, but at the same time borrow heavily to make up the shortage of revenues (due to their cuts) and leave a massive debt behind for a Democrat to clean up.

In line with this policy, I full expect Governor Walker to thump his chest soon and say he will cut the peoples' tax rates (as if some tweetie bird has dropped off a lot of money at some state office). Ignorant people will get all excited about getting a check from the state not realizing that there is no such thing as a free tax check, and they will be paying the state a LOT more than what they got in the check.

Norwood44

Both parties have strategies to win elections. The Dem strategy has yet to be revealed. As for a crisis, it is best to manage finances before you reach crisis stage. States that wish they had done so include New Jersey, California and Illinois. Countries that wish they had managed their finances better before crisis stage include, Greece, Iceland, Italy and, for a while, the United States. It is not unAmerican or even Republican to want the government to operate efficiently and cost effectively. FYI, Dem mayor of Madison Paul Soglin has done some serious belt tightening on union wages in Madison over the last two years. The government serves the people, not vice versa.

tomtom33
tomtom33

Add Portugal, Ireland, and Spain to your list. The EU has certainly given us a great example of what not to do. Detroit, Chicago, Bell and many other cities have shown us the way as well.

blockhead

Portugal, Ireland, and Spain--all victims of American banks and their fraud.

koala

Explain exactly why Walker thinks Obamacare is terrible but Walkercare will be great.

koala

The consultant's view is that going to self-insurance might save 5% of the costs ... or increase costs up to 20%.

Hmm ... I thought that the very purpose of insurance was to reduce exposure to high risks.

This smells like (a) an ill-considered plan, (b) fixing something that truly does not need fixing, or (c) a plan aimed at hurting state workers in some way.

lute

Isn't the "committee of the state’s Group Insurance Board" made up of Walker appointees? And for that matter, hasn't Marchant been loyal to the Republican/Walker agenda?

This appears to be a done deal - so be prepared for nearly a quarter of a million state employees to once again cut back on spending, as soon as the reality of what will happen to their health insurance sinks in. I think we all know this will cost the people of Wisconsin dearly, for the benefit of the few. Again.

lute

Walker seems to take great pleasure in breaking things that don't need fixing - especially if he can hurt large numbers of people in the process.

Walker would only be pushing this if
1) it somehow will punish public employees and further reduce their net income
2) it can somehow be used in his campaign for President
3) it was given to him by some far right wing group (ALEC?)

I really thought he would go after the retirement system, first. I'm sure that will be coming soon.

Martin_Z

um, no. congress is subject to Obama care. the democrats enthusiastically supported the bill that made them so when it came before them.

Maerzie
Maerzie

Did they TEACH such negotiations in the high school he got his diploma from??

Norwood44

maerzie. your bias against people without a college diploma is offensive. the cost of a college education is prohibitive to many kids and families. college loan debt is now greater than credit card debt. for you to suggest that someone who doesn't have a degree is without value and stupid is callous and ignorant.

Norwood44

FYI. John Erpenbach, member of the Rockford 14 and someone named often as a possible gubernatorial candidate has no college degree. Good guy. Good public servant. No degree. Are you going to rip him too Maerzie?

tomtom33
tomtom33

It seems that the last Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor not only had no degree, he had zero college credits.

snootyelites

Ok Ok! So Tammy Baldwin, Mark Pocan, federal workers & state workers (de facto) are all exempt from Obamacare! Then Obama, Baldwin etc are trying to shove this down everyone's throats. Then Walker proposes changes to State Employees healthcare and you all throw a hissy fit.

When did we start living under monarchy - the sheer arrogance and ignorance are stunning! It's Walker who is bringing real democracy to Wisconsin.

milton's fried man
milton's fried man

Word salad son. You are spewing a technicolor yawn all over the page. Why don't you try actually saying something intelligent or true for once in your miserable misbegotten life?

snootyelites

Who's your daddy!

milton's fried man
milton's fried man

Not actually intelligent or true but thanks for playing

freddiebell

snootyelites: Please define "real democracy" as you see it, and share with us exactly what Scott Walker has done to earn your admiration in that regard. I get the feeling that you have a very different understanding of the concept than most of the people in this forum.

DanMerc

Walker tells everyone that the state retirement system needs fixing. No, it's the best in the country!

Walker starts telling everyone how great Wisconsin's economy is. No, it's because he doesn't know how to read numbers from the Philly Fed Index.

Now he wants to make a train wreck out of the state insurance plan.

He has no interest in anyone's well being besides those that put money in his pockets.

It's time to remove his ego from office!

Lionhear

I agree. Tell that to Barrett, too. He wants to change the funding policy authority for the City of Milwaukee pension system from the trustees of the pension board, who've done a great job acting in the best interests of the members, to the elected politicians at City Hall. It would give the Mayor and Common Council, read politicians, full power to take the pension fund payment determination away from the pension board and give it to politicians. The mayor and politicians would make it a total cluster ____. Never fails with Barrett.

bookman21
bookman21

Who told Walker that public employees had anything left to be taken?

Mr Mellow

"“Self-funding the State Plan using a single-payer/administrator system would threaten Wisconsin’s competitive health insurance market by eliminating 15 percent of the fully insured market,” a statement by the group said."

Wow, who knew Scott Walker might be in favor of a single-payer healthcare solution?
Haven't Republicans been loudly telling us for years that such systems are socialist?
Say, would eliminating 15% of the fully insured market help undermine ObamaCare?

Walker's refusal to accept Medicaid expansion money has already put Wisconsin on the hook for hundreds of millions of state taxpayer dollars, so you can bet risking $100M won't slow down this so-called fiscal conservative.

It is astounding, and very expensive, discovering what Walker will do to kill ObamaCare.

PatrickL

Have you looked at the ALEC web-site lately. This proposal is not coming from Walker. It is directly from ALEC and the National Republican Governors Association. It is intended to be strictly a cost saving measure, with poor coverage and a high deductible. It's still part of the Republican plan to ratchet down benefits for public employees so they are less or equal to the private sector. They don't care that they are helping to destroy the middle class.

Dode
Dode

The state is already self-insured with respect to insurance for the vehicle fleet. Seems to work out OK. I guess some would just rather have the state not insure us at all and force us to pay into the 0bamacare scam.

ArchieBunkersKidBrother
ArchieBunkersKidBrother

Look no further than Minnesota for your answer. Besides - people are not fleet vehicles.

Dode
Dode

Then why is it OK for Milwaukee County to eliminate employee health insurance and force them to buy their own?

http://host.madison.com/news/state-and-regional/milwaukee-county-could-end-employee-health-plan/article_05b6125a-3d0d-545d-890d-c9d116f1ace4.html

Besides, what do you think 0bamacare is? If you are a clunker in their eyes, expect to be sent to the junkyard to rust away. And look to Minnesota? It appears Walker is going with a state run program just like them. You should be cheering for it.

blockhead

The state is an EMPLOYER, a huge employer, that will go on providing health insurance regardless of ObamaCare, just like most other employers except the tea party owners trying to undermine it.

Lionhear

I think all city, county, and state employees should have to enroll in Obamacare. And I think there should be no waivers for certain states, certain unions, and any and all federal employees. What's good enough for the American people, is good enough for ALL Americans.

ArchieBunkersKidBrother
ArchieBunkersKidBrother

This guy reminds me of a fellow who was trying to sell band instruments in a place called River City.

Roundtable
Roundtable

Well, considering the company that hired these consultants also donated about $615,000 to the Romney campaign (Google it), it would appear that the Administration thinks this would save the state money by passing on enormous costs to the employee. I guess all the good work they do is worth more, in more tax cuts for you know who.

Roundtable
Roundtable

The consultant company also donated about $430,000 to Obama's re-election. Looks like a MOR company at least for political purposes.Looks like this plan would cost alot to implement and keep going, especially for state employees.

Nav

These Republicans are not deep thinkers are they?

tomtom33
tomtom33

Seems to be a lot of that going on.

kooler

in a nutshell...all they're interested in is ripping off the middle class and ruining our government...period.

irisK

Will Walker and his appointees, as well as the legislature, have the same self insurance.

freddiebell

Likely it doesn't matter. They can afford it already. The rest of us, the rank and file, probably can't. Not that it seems to concern them. It is below their level and not a demographic that is likely to vote for them anyway. I suspect they feel they can write us off without consequences. Time will tell.

Lionhear

You mean like Obama, the congress, and favored unions and states were granted waivers from Obamacare?

Reply
Reply

The best Deloitte could come up with is a possible $20M saving to $100M cost? I'd like to know how much SW & Co. wasted on that useless study.

Regardless, doesn't this run counter to the GOP's philosophies of less govt intervention and more emphasis on private industry?

WalkerCare ... that's scary.

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

Self-funded is at once simple and very complicated. I've seen a lot of organizations try this. Most have failed and ended up owing a bundle. Insurance companies have teams of actuaries paid to manage a company's risk. Private companies never do this. I doubt Walker and company could possible get this right.

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

Gotta love it. We have a functioning insurance market and the governor wants to destroy it. Guess for now he's decided this is more achievable than destroying the state retirement system.

My personal experience is that self funded insurance programs work fine right up till the moment when they don't. That moment comes when there is a cosmic tsunami of medical occurrences.

The biggest problem I see with making such a switch at this time is... you guessed it... a lack of leadership. Leadership requires trust. Nobody trusts Walker. They damn sure don't trust his ability to get it right. And I'm not just talking about state employees. I'm talking about corporate interests who don't trust Walker.

freddiebell

It seems increasingly obvious that the Democratic focus for the 2014 elections in this state should center around two core words:

Leadership.

Trust.

With each passing week more and more reminders come forth about the failings of the current majority to fulfill these core tenets of shared governance and representative government. We all deserve a better alternative, and the Democrats should leave no stone unturned in identifying it, putting it forth, and promoting it vigorously.

Stuck In The Middle With You

Does that mean we can choose to buy our medications through Canada?

Weirdwise

So, it would be single payer for all state employees with the state government as the single payer. It's interesting that Walker & Co have such confidence in state government competence in light of their absolute certainty that the federal government could not effectively operate a single payer plan. That's why Obama & Co went to Option B, the Romney approach of mandating everyone get insurance from competing private insurers. If I wasn't totally certain these guys are smart enough to make this distinction between the competence of the state and federal bureaucracies, I would be alarmed by their lack of consistency.

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

Walker and the Republicans will do anything to sabotage The Affordable Care Act.

Disgraceful.... At the Cost of the Wisconsin Tax payers...

Where is the Tea Party outrage at Walker costing the tax payers $200,000,000.00 and 1000 jobs!

Laser focused on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

I guess now we know the truth about Walker's statement "It's not really about the Jobs"

November 4th 2014 send Walker and the rest of the Republicans packing, so they can't do any more damage to our State!

guirkymondo

Oh boy. BEWARE!

And, when you get sick, you will suddenly find yourself unemployed. THAT's how "self-insured" companies work, don't you know.

Fight this with every breath in your body, because Scott Walker does NOT care about your health.

gamersdontcry

The only association against this idea are the liberals who want nothing more than another serving of kool-aid from Bozo. It is time to save the tax payers and get rid of Obamacare. Walker and the Republicans wouldn't have to save Americans all the time if we could just get rid of all the confused libs. Time to vote them out of office.

Reply
Reply

Did you read the article?

"A report by Deloitte consultants in October 2012 said Wisconsin could save $20 million — but might spend $100 million more — by switching 236,000 state employees and their family members to a self-insurance model."

I can see being in favor of saving the State $20M. But if this backfires and ends up costing $100M, are you still okay with that?

Monkeybar

Right after that, it says that with the new Obamacare, they could save 4-5% a year by becoming self insured, there was an updated study in August. That is August 2013.

blockhead

While at the same time, doing everything in their power to sabotage and sandbag ObamaCare in Wisconsin for the last 3 years...

tomtom33
tomtom33

Ocare has done a great job of sandbagging itself. Thank you Nancy, Harry, and Barack.

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

Dear gamersdon'treadorthink:

Did you read actually read and comprehend the parent article?

The Wisconsin Association of Health Plans — which represents 10 HMOs in Wisconsin, including the four main ones in Dane County — planned a conference call for members Tuesday morning to prepare for the meeting with the governor.

An agenda for the call makes it clear the meeting with the governor will focus on the self-insurance proposal.

The association is against the proposal, saying it would increase the state’s health costs by $200 million or more, disrupt patient-provider relationships, create instability in the Medicaid program, increase financial risk to the state and result in the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs, the program says.

“Self-funding the State Plan using a single-payer/administrator system would threaten Wisconsin’s competitive health insurance market by eliminating 15 percent of the fully insured market,” a statement by the group said.

Didn't think so

human

The State government can use its purchasing power to anchor a system that works well for its employees and also gives other citizens to opportunity to buy in, and benefit too. Or it can tear the existing system to shreds -- for spite and short-term gain.

Guess which alternative Walker wants? I wonder which of Walker's cronies stands to benefit.

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