Monday, November 25, 2013

Scott Walker Tantrum: He Blew up the Exchanges and Walked Away so No One could have them. Now he says "I told you so?"

Scott Walker is proving government is bad...under Walker!!!

Walker really screwed things up. And this time, I’m not talking about high speed rail.

If the information I gleaned from the Kaiser Foundation is even close to being accurate, then Walker has some big time explaining to do. Yes, under that calm demeanor, hides a real asshole.

It appears Wisconsin put together a workable health care exchange under Gov. Jim Doyle. All the work was done and the state was given federal money to get it running.
Under former-Governor Jim Doyle (D), Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services had investigated the information technology necessary for a state-run exchange and based on insight from over 40 healthcare stakeholders, created an exchange prototype to simulate eligibility determinations and the consumer enrollment process. The prototype was launched in December 2010, with much of the functionality required of an exchange website. Wisconsin received a federal Exchange Planning grant of $1 million in September 2010... 
And because we were so far ahead setting up exchanges, we were given:
...a federal Early Innovator grant of $37.7 million in February (2011).
But Walker wanted to use that exchange for the “Office of Free Market Health Care,” where insurers could fill the campaign coffers of Walker and fellow Republicans with the excess profits made selling completely useless junk policies to the unsuspecting public.
In 2011, Walker had issued an executive order to create the Office of Free Market Health Care to develop a plan for a Wisconsin health benefit exchange; however, almost a year later he closed the Office (because) exchange establishment legislation failed to pass at the end of the 2012 legislative session. 
Here’s what Walker did to sabotage all the money, time, and work done by the state:
Wisconsin planned to use the Early Innovator grant to refine their exchange prototype into a single portal through which residents could access subsidized and non-subsidized health care and other state-based programs. In January 2012, the Governor announced the state would be returning the Early Innovator grant funding. After initial efforts to develop a state-based health insurance exchange, Governor Walker announced in July 2012, he would not take any action to implement federal health reform until after the November elections.
Wisconsin was this close to a fully functional exchange, but Walker abandoned all of it. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding us of yet another example of Walker choosing right wing political ideology over economic development. Turning away money for high speed rail, for Medicaid expansion and for the exchange should all be front and center when it comes to giving him a D on his report card of economic expansion for the state of Wisconsin.