Governor Scott Walker
Public payroll data from all 50 states indicates that the average U.S. governor earns $137,415 per year in salary, with variances ranging from a low of $70,000 to a high of just less than $200,000 per year. Gov. Walker doesn’t fare too badly when comparing his salary to what other governors earn. His annual salary of $147,328 puts him 19th on the list (the average median household income in the United States hovers around $52,000 per year). The three highest paid governors are Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf ($190,823), California’s Jerry Brown ($187,789) and Tennessee’s Bill Haslam ($187,500). Of note: Haslam is one of four U.S. governors – along with Florida’s Rick Scott, Illinois’s Bruce Rauner and Alabama’s Robert Bentley – to forgo an annual salary from their respective states.
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Baldwin said some provisions of the Affordable Care Act need to be fixed, but that doesn’t mean the whole program should be scrapped. Republicans seized upon the news that premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law and that many consumers will be down to just one insurer. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claims “it’s over for Obamacare.” In Milwaukee on Oct. 25, Baldwin said there are adjustments to Obamacare that can be made to deal with price increases, such as reining in pharmaceutical companies that raise prices on their products without justification or explanation. Baldwin led the effort to include a provision in the 2010 law that allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance plans up to age 26.
Source: The Associated Press
Senator Ron Johnson
Independent Women’s Voice announced that Sen. Johnson has signed the Obamacare Repeal Pledge. “Sen. Ron Johnson’s decision to take Pledge shows voters that, when it comes to health care, he gets it,” said Heather Higgins, president and CEO of Independent Women’s Voice. “Sen. Johnson understands the harm that Obamacare has already caused and will continue to cause if it’s not turned back. He recognizes that Obamacare hurts seniors and increases costs for families. Moreover, he knows that Obamacare means bigger government and less freedom, places government bureaucrats between doctors and their patients, and reduces our choice and control in health care decisions. The Repeal Pledge was designed as a litmus test to help the American public understand which candidates and office holders are serious about repeal, versus those who claim to be but won’t actually take action.”
“Obamacare has been a disaster for Wisconsin families, doctors, and small businesses,” said Johnson. “It needs to be repealed so we can undo the damage it’s doing to health care and our economy, and it needs to be replaced with patient-centered, market-based reforms that would actually restrain the cost and improve the quality of health care.”
Source: Independent Women’s Voice press release
President Barack Obama
Urging people to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama said last week that while premiums might be rising, most consumers need not worry. “Premiums going up,” he said, “don’t necessarily translate into higher premiums for people who are getting tax credits.” Federal subsidies will generally grow with premiums, the administration says, even as rates soar 25 percent to 50 percent or more in some markets. “Most people are going to be pleasantly surprised at just how affordable their options are,” the president said. But left unmentioned in the pitch to consumers are what economists and health policy experts describe as possible reasons to be concerned about rising premiums:
- Higher subsidies mean higher costs for taxpayers.
- Many people buying insurance on their own do not receive subsidies. And for many others, the subsidies are small.
- Premium increases indicate the magnitude of cost increases for insurers. The continued increases in these costs help explain why the marketplace has been unstable and some insurers have pulled out.
“You should be concerned anytime prices go up rapidly,” said Robert D. Reischauer, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “This is increasing costs to the government.”
Source: The New York Times