Reps in the News: Health Insurance, Maternal CARE

Governor Tony Evers

Gov. Evers announced a new partnership Monday between his administration and groups working to get people health insurance.

Flanked by members of the groups Covering Wisconsin and Kids Forward at a state Capitol news conference, Evers talked about using resources from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and state Department of Health Services (DHS) to help people connect with BadgerCare, private insurance sold on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace and coverage offered through employers.

“We’re taking this opportunity to expand outreach on our own,” Evers said. “Clearly I can’t imagine the Legislature or the leaders in the Legislature are going to oppose us working together to make sure everyone can find their place in the health-care world.”

There are 290,000 people in Wisconsin who lack health coverage, according to DHS Secretary Andrea Palm. Some qualify for marketplace subsidies and could buy private insurance through the ACA. Others are eligible for BadgerCare. But they can lose BadgerCare coverage as their income goes up.

Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable said education will be a major part of the initiative to get more people health coverage, with a focus on those between 100 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. People below 100 percent of poverty are already covered by BadgerCare.

The effort comes a day before the Legislature’s budget-writing committee is scheduled to take up Evers’ budget for DHS. It originally included the governor’s plan to accept a federal expansion of Medicaid, but Republicans removed it from the budget last month.

Source: WPR

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin helped reintroduce the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (Maternal CARE) Act: legislation led by Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to address persistent biases and shortcomings in the nation’s medical system that have contributed to the ongoing crisis in black maternal mortality.

The United States is one of only 13 countries in the world where the rate of maternal mortality is now worse than it was 25 years ago. For black women, the risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes is three to four times higher than that of white women. Further, black women are twice as likely to suffer from life-threatening pregnancy complications.

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Johnson was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and re-elected in 2016. At the time, he said it would be his last election. But recently, he has been talking about extending his future in politics, including another run for Senate or even governor. Johnson said last week he is being “highly encouraged” by his party to consider both positions in 2022.

“The reality has changed,” Johnson said. “I thought the House was our firewall. Now it’s looking like maybe the U.S. Senate is our firewall. A real key is a state party, whose primary function is supporting the county parties that are all about getting the votes. Conservatives have not done a good job of fielding a candidate for every line on the ballot. Thirty Democrats ran unopposed. This is about county boards, city councils, school boards and mayoral races. We need Republicans on every line of the ballot. Those are the ground troops.”

Source: WPR

President Donald Trump

Democrats hit a roadblock this week in their efforts to use the courts to go after President Trump. On the heels of several initial wins in lawsuits targeting Trump and his personal finances, Democratic lawmakers were dealt a blow Monday when a federal judge ruled that they don’t have the authority to sue the president over his diversion of military funds to build a border wall.

The ruling also underscores the judiciary’s wariness of entangling itself in political fights between the executive and legislative branches, with judges preferring that the two bodies resolve the fights among themselves – a near impossibility in this political climate.