Governor Scott Walker
Gov. Walker, one of the nation’s most militantly anti-Obamacare governors, is making strengthening the health care law a key plank of his reelection platform as Republicans fret over potential losses in November. Walker wants to prop up his Obamacare market with a $200 million program that would compensate health insurers for high-cost patients so they don’t hike premiums for everyone. He also would enshrine some Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
It’s a startling turnabout for a chief executive who has repeatedly called for repealing and replacing the health law. Walker sought to get out in front of a potential issue by blaming Washington – and, of course, Obamacare – for individual coverage premiums that rose an average of 36 percent this year.
“Wisconsin families need stability, especially when it comes to their health care,” Walker said in his weekly radio address. “Since Washington has failed to act on the issue, Wisconsin must lead.”
Congressman Mike Gallagher
The U.S. House of Representatives passed Rep. Gallagher’s trauma-informed care resolution with unanimous support on Feb. 26. The resolution recognizes the importance, effectiveness and need for trauma-informed care (TIC) in improving health outcomes. TIC is a science-based treatment framework designed to identify and address the root causes of some of our most pressing public health issues, including addiction, mental health issues and obesity. Rep. Gallagher’s resolution is part of a wider effort – led by First Lady Tonette Walker – to make Wisconsin the first TIC state in the U.S. and increase national awareness. Gallagher said: “Traumatic experiences and childhood toxic stress affect millions of children, families, and adults across the United States. Unfortunately, these experiences can negatively impact a student’s ability to learn, prevent a veteran from reintegrating into society, or hinder an adult’s ability to join the workforce. With passage of my resolution, Congress is taking an important step in spreading awareness of the transformative power that TIC can have in helping individuals overcome trauma and lead healthy lives, while still allowing people the flexibility to implement these best practices at the local level – where they are most effective. It’s been my honor to take charge and push for wider use of TIC.”
Source: Gallagher press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Baldwin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, visited Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety Training Center in Greenville on Feb. 23 to reintroduce the America’s College Promise Act. This legislation would create a new federal-state partnership to provide two years of tuition-free access to community or technical college programs that lead to a degree or industry-recognized credential. Baldwin met with students and leadership of the technical college and toured the college’s state-of-the-art public safety training facilities as part of her visit.
“Higher education should be a path to shared prosperity, not a path into suffocating debt. But unfortunately, college costs and student loan debt are holding back an entire generation and creating a drag on economic growth for our country,” she said. “America needs to out-educate the rest of the world in order to better compete in a 21st century, skills-based economy. The America’s College Promise Act is an investment in workforce readiness and our economy. I’m proud to introduce this legislation and help give more students the opportunity to gain the skills needed to compete, succeed and prosper.”
“Given the growing demand for skilled talent in Wisconsin’s workforce, it is clear that we need to provide opportunities for each and every young person to attain the skills necessary to both fill these positions and earn a family-sustaining living,” said Dr. Susan May, president of Fox Valley Technical College.
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Sen. Johnson said the following in response to the Trump administration’s proposal to roll-back an Obama administration rule that reduced affordable health care options for consumers: “I’m pleased to see the Trump administration follow through on its commitment to bringing more affordable choices to Obamacare’s forgotten men and women.” Short-term, limited duration plans offer consumers a variety of health benefits and are another option for health coverage.
Source: Johnson press release
President Donald Trump
On Wednesday President Trump publicly chastised Attorney General Jeff Sessions for an investigation into alleged surveillance abuses. The scathing tweet is the latest in a long line of public rebukes the President has leveled against his attorney general, a man who broke with much of his party to endorse Trump early in his presidential run.
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc,” Trump wrote. “Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!”
Sessions said Tuesday that the Justice Department is looking at whether the FBI has properly handled applications for surveillance orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Sessions, appearing at a news conference, was asked about House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’ controversial memo outlining purported surveillance abuses and told reporters that “the inspector general will take that as one of the matters he’ll deal with.”