Strings #2


 

Send Strings – Make the Dangers of the Early Innovator Grant Clear

Send Strings: Make the Dangers of the Early Innovator Grant Clear

Written by Kirsten – From WI 9/12 Project
Monday, 09 January 2012 00:01
Last month, I wrote about the claim of Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) that the Early Innovator Grant (EIG) Governor Walker accepted on behalf of the State of Wisconsin in February 2011 came with no strings attached.  Those who’ve been following this issue already know that the EIG has strings o’plenty.

First and foremost, acceptance of EIG funds obligates recipient states to plan and implement an Obamacare-compliant health insurance exchange. That means Wisconsin has been in the process of implementing and complying with Obamacare for at least the past year. As noted in previous articles on this site, we’ve seen the evidence.  Wisconsin’s Obamacare compliant exchange is definitely well underway…much further than most people realize.  If we don’t do something about it soon, it will indeed be too late.

Someone has taken this reality to heart and raised the matter to a creative new level.

We’re delighted.

Remember back when the Tea Party got its start–how many people put tea bags into envelopes and sent them to elected officials?  That concrete message, particularly in its sheer volume, was a powerful message. Everyone in Washington and in State Capitols around the country now knows that, while you may not like the Tea Party movement, it’s out there, and can’t be ignored.

The video below chooses a similar method for clearly messaging the EIG situation to legislators and the governor. And let’s face it: It’s about time legislators were pulled fully into this matter.  We need them to be aware and engaged.

The document for download that the video references can be accessed here. They’ve also provided an instruction sheet in their description information, so we’re providing that for you, too. We’ve talked about the EIG application guidelines that the video references. Those can be accessed here, just in case anyone wants to verify the claims made about the particular string the video highlights.

Wisconsin’s Road To Obamacare Compliance – RETURN THE EARLY INNOVATOR GRANT MONEY!!!

From the WI 9/12 Project Website…Great Job Kirsten!

Tell Governor Walker It’s Time to Sever the Early Innovator Grant Agreement

Written by Kirsten
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 13:38
Members of the Wisconsin 9/12 Project were pleased to see on November 30th that Governor Walker had listened to informed citizens and ordered the rescission of Emergency Rule 1117. The rule brought the state into compliance with provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka Obamacare). While we’re still watching the situation carefully and awaiting the actual rescission, we thank and applaud Governor Walker for making an excellent first step in truly protecting the State of Wisconsin and its citizens against egregious federal overreach and beginning to restore greater integrity to the 26-state lawsuit challenging Obamacare’s constitutionality.

However, the battle to protect Wisconsin in the healthcare arena is not yet over.

Wisconsin has still not returned $49 million in federal Obamacare grant funds that it accepted in February. We know that $38 million of the total was an Early Innovator Grant (EIG), provided for the express purpose of building a PPACA-compliant healthcare exchange. According to the Office of the Governor, the remaining $11 million was intended for upgrades to the eligibility and enrollment systems of BadgerCare Plus, the state’s Medicaid program, as well as an integration of BadgerCare Plus into the exchange.

It is imperative that Governor Walker next return any money already drawn down on these grant funds, sever the grant agreement, and order the permanent cessation of any and all work on the exchange.  Until he achieves these objectives, Wisconsin remains at serious risk of:

  • Undermining its state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment
  • Compromising the healthcare freedoms of its citizens
  • Damaging the 26-state lawsuit before the Supreme Court

In an article published on this site early last week, Jeff Horn looked closely at the EIG application guidelines and indisputably demonstrated that the Federal Government does expect a finished product at the end of the two-year grant period: working, compliant exchange technology for implementation by the recipient state, in this case Wisconsin. Furthermore, the guidelines state not once but twice, on pages 18 and 26, that recipient states will cede the full intellectual property rights of any technology produced so that the Federal Government can “offer” the technology to other states.

It’s hard not to be crystal clear, then, on what Wisconsin has gotten itself into in accepting an EIG. We are building technology for the Federal Government that will be the means not only of Wisconsin’s subjugation, but almost certainly that of many other states besides. It is an insidious agreement into which we have entered, and it must be broken well in advance of the Supreme Court hearing arguments pertaining to our lawsuit in March 2012.

So far, the administration has been unwilling even to acknowledge the danger that lies in keeping these grant moneys.  It seems to have no interest in wisely returning them, as Kansas and Oklahoma have done.  Instead of rejecting Obamacare outright, the administration’s argument has consistently been that Wisconsin must comply with Obamacare in order to resist Obamacare. This fallacious thinking will harm us if we allow it to stand in any respect.

Why is this sort of thing happening in a state with a Republican governor who has very publicly proclaimed his adversity to Obamacare and who immediately upon taking office gave our Attorney General permission to join the multi-state challenge to Obamacare’s constitutionality?

At the Wisconsin 9/12 Project, we remain convinced that Governor Walker has not truly understood the truth–that he has received exceedingly poor counsel from members of his administration.

Why do we believe this…?

On November 15th, A number of Tea Party organizers from across the state of Wisconsin were invited to a conference call with two highly placed representatives of the state’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. I was on that call. So were many others that I know.  The call had been arranged by Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch in an effort to explain the administration’s position on Emergency Rule 1117 and answer any questions we might have.  Early in the call, one of those OCI representatives noted his awareness that there had also been quite a bit of public concern about the EIG funding.  He wanted to  explain why Governor Walker had accepted th grant moneys. With no correction from his colleague, the gentleman claimed that the EIG grant came with “no strings attached,” amounted to nothing more than research and development money, and that it placed Wisconsin under no obligation whatsoever to produce anything.” He stated that any information circulating that the EIG moneys placed Wisconsin in danger was false.

We know from our research that OCI’s claims, as communicated by this gentleman, simply don’t match up to reality.  Unfortunately, we believe that OCI and others surrounding Governor Walker have provided him with this same bad information, and that he is thus making decision for the state without the most basic and crucial facts.  As far as the Wisconsin 9/12 Project can see, he is getting no help whatsoever from his closest advisors in understanding the disconcerting realities to which the EIG funds bind this state.

It is thus once again up to Wisconsinites to assist Governor Walker, as they did on Emergency Rule 1117. His own cabinet will not do so.  We take the Governor at his word that he rejects Obamacare. However, he must act quickly and decisively now to protect Wisconsin in the surest manner possible and prevent a steel trap door from snapping shut on all of us.

Members of the Wisconsin 9/12 Project have continued to research the matter of Wisconsin’s EIG funding and the PPACA-compliant exchange the state has been busy building. We know many other groups and individuals are doing the same, for which we are grateful.  Over the course of 2011, the state has, in fact, passed milestone after milestone after milestone in the process of building the exchange. The evidence that Wisconsin has continued to press forward with this project is already overwhelming, amounting so far to hundreds of pages of documents that can be traced from grant acceptance in February right up to the present month. We’ve even seen the list of projected milestones for the coming year. Our findings indicate that Wisconsin is now quite far down a very dangerous road.  More hard proof is obtained every day.

It is once again imperative that Wisconsinites get on the phone and/or send emails to the Governor’s office on this matter. Help Governor Walker understand the facts and respectfully insist that he:

  • Return any moneys already drawn down on the federal grant funding
  • Formally sever the grant relationship
  • Order any state agencies and contractors involved to cease immediately and permanently any and all work on the exchange

Because the Office of the Governor may not want to believe what you have to say, or may try to tell you that the exchange is not PPACA-compliant, you should be armed with as much evidence as possible.  We are providing you with a few critical documents.  Do your own research as well, if you can. It is always preferable to verify what others are telling you. Far be it from us to ask you to take our word for it.

Below is a helpful starting list of documents that should help you make the case when you call the Governor.

Governor’s Office Phone Number: 608.266.1212

Governor’s Office Email Address: govgeneral@wisconsin.gov

In addition, you may wish to visit the current exchange prototype (already completed under the Doyle administration) and submit comments there.

Please pass this article on to your friends and neighbors so that they, too, can understand the full weight of this issue.  If you need further information or background on the issue, you may reach out to us via the Wisconsin 9/12 Project website.

Helpful documents

Again, this is just a start, there is much more documentation available, and we may be providing additional material in future articles.  But for now, these four key documents should make the issue quite clear.

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