Friday October 23, 2020

Moving Forward with Facts & Reason

FacebookTwitterYoutube
Newsletter
News Feeds:

Progressive Thinking

Discussion with education and reason.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig

Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig

Robert Kraig is Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, 221 S. 2nd St., Suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53204.

Campaign on State Supreme Court Amendment a Distortion of Democracy

Posted by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Robert Kraig is Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, 221 S. 2nd St.,
User is currently offline
on Friday, 03 April 2015
in Wisconsin

shirley_abrahamsonPhone Calls on Wisconsin’s business lobby effort to pass a constitutional amendment aimed at stripping Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson of her position turn up Massive Voter Confusion.


WISCONSIN - The campaign by Wisconsin’s business lobby to pass a constitutional amendment aimed at stripping Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson of her position is a distortion of the democratic process.

The well-funded campaign by Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce, under the brand of Vote Yes for Democracy, claims in Orwellian fashion that the amendment is about democracy.  In fact, there was no public demand for it, and most voters have no idea why it is on the ballot and what its implications are. As the Center on Media and Democracy has reported, the amendment is a thinly veiled effort to cement right-wing domination of the Wisconsin’s highest court.

Because of our grave concern that voters are being misled and manipulated by powerful special interests, Citizen Action of Wisconsin launched a phone campaign which has talked so far to 48,909 voters about the amendment. In our phone campaign we have found that voters lack the basic facts needed to make an informed decision about the amendment, so much so that many keep callers on the line trying to get more information. This is highly unusual, because the public does not generally crave unsolicited phone calls. Our program also found that even after receiving information, over one-third of voters are still undecided.

One serious problem with Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment process revealed in this campaign is that the ballot does not give voters basic information, such as what is current law and what is the rationale for each side of the question. This differs sharply with states that have the initiative (or direct legislation) process.

“It is shameful right-wing interests are manipulating the democratic process to gain further control the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “It is sham democracy when voters don’t know what they are voting on, and are given highly misleading information by wealthy special interests who have no intention of educating the public.”

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

Affordable Care Act a Huge Advance for Wisconsin

Posted by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Robert Kraig is Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, 221 S. 2nd St.,
User is currently offline
on Monday, 23 March 2015
in Wisconsin

citizenaction_healthcareFive years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act the law is guaranteeing Wisconsinites more freedom to control their own health decisions. But benefits are at risk due to inaction on Supreme Court threat. Reform more important in Wisconsin due to higher insurance costs.


STATEWIDE - Five years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act the law is guaranteeing, more than any time in American history, the freedom of Wisconsinites to control their own health decisions. Before the Affordable Care Act passed, Americans faced shocking health insurance discrimination based on age, preexisting medical conditions, gender, and other factors. Today over 207,000 Wisconsinites have quality health coverage that can never be taken away by insurance companies.

There are substantial tax subsidies to make health coverage affordable which have an especially important benefit in a high cost state like Wisconsin. Because Wisconsin health insurance premiums are higher than surrounding states, Wisconsin health consumers gain substantially more. Local numbers and comparison charts are below.

As significant as these advances are, Governor Scott Walker’s refusal to prepare for the potential adverse decision in the U.S. Supreme Court decision of King v. Burwell threatens to take health coverage away from over 183,000 Wisconsinites who receive tax subsidies and have nowhere else to go. Many of these consumers have pre-existing conditions and faced shocking discrimination from insurance companies before the passage of health reform. Others were forced on the marketplace by Governor Walker’s ill-conceived decision to reject hundreds of millions of federal dollars for BadgerCare provided by the Affordable Care Act.

“The advance in freedom provided by health reform is at risk in Wisconsin due to Governor Walker’s actions,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “It is political malpractice for Governor Walker not to prepare for a predictable disaster which could strip affordable health coverage from over 183,000 Wisconsinites. By failing to prepare a Wisconsin health insurance marketplace in the event the Supreme Court makes a damaging decision, Walker is putting at risk the lives and fundamental freedoms of people in every corner of Wisconsin.”

Table 1: Affordable Care Act’s Tax Credits Very Effective At Making Private Insurance More Affordable

(Click here to see data for more Metropolitan areas)

Metro

Lowest Cost Silver, 40 year old, before tax credits

After tax credits, 200% FPL

Annual savings from credits

Milwaukee, WI

$301 per month

$94 per month

$2,484

Madison, WI

$238

$109

$1,548

Minneapolis, MN

$181

$121

$720

Chicago, IL

$212

$123

$1,068

Detroit. MI

$219

$116

$1,236

Des Moines, IA

$195

$116

$948

Data collected from Healthcare.gov and MNSure.org for 40 year old single applicant, non-smoking. Tax credits estimated for 40 year old single applicant making 200% of the federal poverty line, or $23,541 a year

Table 2: Affordable Care Act’s Outlawing of Pre-existing Condition Discrimination Protects Thousands

(Click here to see data for more Wisconsin localities)

 

Est. Number of Consumers With Diagnosed Pre-existing Conditions

Milwaukee County

214,600 people

Dane County

114,000

La Crosse County

26,800

Eau Claire/Chippewa County

38,200

Marathon County

31,000

Brown County

59,000

Fox Valley

93,300

Waukesha

90,600

Racine County

46,000

Sheboygan County

26,800

Kenosha County

38,500

Rock County

37,900

Estimates from Families USA analysis of consumers in Wisconsin of non-institutionalized, non-Medicare-eligible population

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

(Click here to see data for more Wisconsin counties)

 

Est. County Enrollment

Est. Qualified for Tax Credits

Est. Total Tax Credits Annually

Brown County

8,127

7,233

$27,687,415.69

Dane County

11,662

11,747

$44,642,245

Douglas County

1,760

1,566

$5,995,934.74

Eau Claire County

3,998

3,558

$13,619,632.63

Fond du Lac County

2,955

2,629

$10,065,341.07

Kenosha County

5,370

4,780

$18,296,874.51

La Crosse County

3,974

3,537

$13,537,214.83

Manitowoc County

3,066

2,729

$10,446,526.17

Marathon County

6,376

5,674

$21,722,386.87

Milwaukee County

34,468

30,677

$117,430,699.37

Oneida County

2,557

2,276

$8,710,589.80

Outagamie County

5,658

5,036

$19,275,592.18

Portage County

3,344

2,977

$11,394,336.91

Racine County

5,828

5,188

$19,857,672.30

Rock County

4,843

4,310

$16,499,124.28

Sheboygan County

1,744

1,551

$5,939,272.38

Waukesha County

9,906

8,817

$33,750,315.78

Winnebago County

5,083

4,524

$17,318,155.83

Wood County

3,845

3,422

$13,099,367.37

STATEWIDE

207,349

184,540

$706,418,001.86

Source - County enrollment distribution based on Dept of Health Services June 2014 enrollment report adjusted for most recent February Healthcare.gov state enrollment numbers. Total tax credits are based on local enrollment and HHS reported average Wisconsin tax credit, annualized.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

New Poll Shows Wisconsin Public Wants Major Changes to Budget on Health Care

Posted by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Robert Kraig is Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, 221 S. 2nd St.,
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 17 March 2015
in Wisconsin

peoplePoll shows massive public support for Wisconsin to take the enhanced federal funding for BadgerCare rejected in the Governor’s budget and for Governor Walker and the Legislature to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could yank health insurance subsidies from over 183,000 Wisconsinites.


STATEWIDE - This morning Citizen Action of Wisconsin joined Public Policy Polling and members of the Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee to release new poll results on key health care issues.

Audio of the release can be accessed here.

The polling shows massive public support for Wisconsin to take the enhanced federal funding for BadgerCare rejected in the Governor’s budget. It also shows overwhelming support for Governor Walker and the Legislature to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could yank health insurance subsidies from over 183,000 Wisconsinites. Both are closely related budget issues. The polling results can be accessed here.

On taking the BadgerCare dollars currently being left on the table by Governor Walker, the public supports taking the money by an overwhelming 31 point margin (58% to 27%).

On the question of taking precautions against a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could endanger health insurance subsidies for over 183,00 Wisconsinites, the public by a 20 point margin (53% to 33%) thinks it is the Governor’s responsibility to take action to prevent anyone from losing their health care. This is a budget issue, because Governor Walker pushed 57,000 people off BadgerCare, and denied access to 81,000 people who would have been eligible, placing them on the federal marketplaces where they are vulnerable to an adverse U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The media call this morning was joined by three members of the Joint Finance Committee, Senator Jon Erpenbach, Representative Gordon Hintz, and Representative Chris Taylor.

“This is not the time to point fingers, we need leaders to step up,” said Representative Hintz.

On BadgerCare, Representative Chris Taylor said: “It’s a no-brainer. Why wouldn't we take this money to cover more people for less money.”

“For the life of me, I can’t understand why we have not done this,” added Senator Erpenbach. “It is up to Governor Walker to fix the problem, It’s the right thing to do.”

“It is clear that the Wisconsin public by huge margins supports major revisions to the state budget on health care issues,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The public wants Wisconsin to take all the money that is on the table to strengthen BadgerCare, and believes it is Governor Walker’s responsibility to take action to safeguard the health coverage of the over 183,000 Wisconsinites at risk from a potentially dangerous U.S. Supreme Court decision.”

About the poll: Public Policy Polling surveyed 1,071 registered Wisconsin voters from March 6th to 8th. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.0%. 80% of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone with 20% interviewed over the internet to reach respondents who don’t have landline telephones. Full poll results can be accessed  HERE

Web Link to Release

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

The Path Forward After Passage of So-Called 'Right to Work'

Posted by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Robert Kraig is Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, 221 S. 2nd St.,
User is currently offline
on Friday, 06 March 2015
in Wisconsin

union-members-at-capitolMADISON - The Republican controlled Wisconsin State Assembly passed the so-called 'Right to Work' bill this morning. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill into law next Monday.

The passage of this bill is another step in the conspiracy of multinational corporations and right wing billionaires to rig the economy against average working people. The bill undermines the fundamental freedom of workers to band together, and have a voice in the decisions made by the CEOs of large multinational corporations. When added to the other elements of the conspiracy, encouraging the outsourcing of jobs, driving down the value of the minimum wage, devastating public employee unions, and gutting our generational investments in our schools and colleges, it will accelerate a race to the bottom by shrinking the middle class. It will make it harder and harder for millions of working families shutout of opportunity to work their way up the economic ladder and claim their piece of the American dream.

The heroes in this rigged legislative process are the thousands of average workers who over the past two weeks came to their State Capitol from all over Wisconsin to do that most American of things, exercise their first amendment rights as citizens. The culprits are a conservative majority that is so ideological that they cannot even hear the voices of their own constituents, and are willing to act on fraudulent facts made up out of whole cloth by the special interests they serve. The complete absence of workers coming to the Capitol to support this legislation is a powerful proof that this bill is about the demands of Corporate CEOs to drive down wages and benefits, and has nothing to do with the interests of average working families.

Although the radical brand of conservative who has seized control of the machinery of our government celebrate a present victory, they are actually sowing the seeds of their ultimate defeat. In due time their deliberate rigging of the economy to shrink and shut off the middle class will become an undeniable fact, and will inspire a wave of outrage which big money politics and gerrymandered legislative districts cannot not contain. The conservative “divide and conquer” path to power will not work once the consequences of their manipulation of the economy are fully felt and understood across Wisconsin. Once the vehicle of our economy is driven off a cliff, the wreckage will be visible for all to see. It is a shame that we must re-learn the harsh lessons of the past that when workers have no power in the economy multinational corporations will drive their wages and benefits into the ground. Once this harsh lesson is learned again, the action of today will not stand.

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes

UW System is Collateral Damage from Walker’s Rejection of Federal BadgerCare Dollars

Posted by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig
Robert Kraig is Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, 221 S. 2nd St.,
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 29 January 2015
in Wisconsin

college-studentGov. Walker's headless decision to leave hundreds of millions of dollars in enhanced federal Medicaid funds on the table is a disaster not only for health care but also for higher education.


STATEWIDE - In response to the news that Wisconsin is now the only Great Lakes state not accepting enhanced federal Medicaid funds, Governor Scott Walker announced to the media Wednesday that he is unmoved by the actions of Republican Governors in surrounding states, and will again leave hundreds of millions of dollars on the table in the state budget that will be released next week.

This headless decision is a disaster not only for health care but also for higher education. The cost to the state budget of Walker’s refusal to take the BadgerCare dollars may be greater than the $300 million that the Governor proposes to slash from the University of Wisconsin System. According to the Wisconsin Budget Project, using number provided by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the refusal to take enhanced federal funds for BadgerCare will cost Wisconsin up to $315 million in the next state budget.

“Not only is Governor Walker’s irresponsible decision to reject federal dollars for BadgerCare forcing thousands to go without vital health coverage, it also causing unprecedented collateral damage to Wisconsin’s world class university system,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The cost of Walker’s political obsession with undermining health care reform, no matter what the consequences, is now rippling beyond health care and into other vital investments that Wisconsin needs to thrive and prosper.”

Tags: Untagged
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
Tweet With Us:

Share

Copyright © 2020. Green Bay Progressive. Designed by Shape5.com