WI Patriot Groups To Gov. Walker – Do NOT Implement WI Obamacare Exchange!!!

Here is the link to one of the press releases on the implementation of a WI healthcare exchange by Gov. Walker.

An Open Letter to Governor Scott Walker

Thank You Gov. Walker for FINALLY Turning Down Early Innovator Grant Money

Governor Walker issued the following press release late yesterday afternoon.  Thanks to all of you who sent in your strings, and those of you who coordinated the effort.

Madison—Today Governor Walker announced he will not pursue the implementation of a health insurance exchange and has turned down Early Innovator Grant funding from the federal government. The Governor also will repeal the executive order that created the Office of Free Market Health Care.

“I have directed the Department of Health Services to notify the federal government that we will discontinue any development on a health exchange and that Wisconsin will turn down funding from the Early Innovator Grant program,” said Governor Walker. “Stopping the encroachment of ObamaCare in our state, which has the potential to have a devastating impact on Wisconsin’s economy, is a top priority. Wisconsin has been a leader and innovator in health care reform for two decades, and we have achieved a high level of health insurance coverage without federal mandates. When job creators and Wisconsin families are facing difficult times it doesn’t make sense to commit to a federal health care mandate that will result in hidden taxes for Wisconsin families, increased health care costs and insurance premiums, and more uncertainty in the private sector.”

Governor Walker will sign Executive Order 57 into law, which repeals the executive order that established the Office of Free Market Health Care.

It would be great if many people would contact his office via email or phone call to thank him for this stand he has taken against this unconstitutional federal encroachment of power.   govgeneral@wisconsin.gov   (608) 266-1212

Strings #3

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.

TELL GOV. WALKER NO ON OBAMACARE COMPLIANCE

Your help is needed NOW.   The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) for Wisconsin has forwarded an emergency order to Gov. Walker that would begin Wisconsin’s compliance with ObamaCare. I have no idea what the motivation is behind it, but WE MUST STOP IT.

Please call Gov. Walker TODAY at 608-266-1212 and let him know Wisconsin wants absolutely nothing to do with ObamaCare.   If you don’t believe me, take a look at the attached Emergency Rule for yourself and count how many times it refers to the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ObamaCare) and “45 CFR 147.136”.

Tell Gov. Walker to send back the $49 million in Early Innovator Grant Funds.

Senator Lasee Urges Walker Administration To Return Obamacare Funds

Attached is the press release from Senator Frank Lasee asking the Walker Administration to send back the $49 million in Obamacare grant money that was to be used to set up insurance exchanges.

Senator Frank Lasee Press Release – Release Obamacare Funds

We have said repeatedly that government “insurance exchanges” are a bad idea.  It IS government run healthcare, just at a different level.  They do nothing to fix the healthcare problems we face.  Instead, they just add another layer of bureaucracy. The best thing government can do is to repeal all the coverage mandates so consumers can tailor an insurance product that fits their individual situation.  Only consumer driven, market based approaches can solve the insurance problem.

The states need to WAKE UP to the fact that anytime the FEDS dangle money out there for some project, that it is somehow “free” money.  That is money taken from someone who actually earned it.  As long as states accept this money, they are bound to the conditions imposed by the FEDS giving up their autonomy and sovereignty in the process.

Governor Walker…SEND THE MONEY BACK!!!

Senator Lasee – AB210 – Will not advance from his committee – HOORAY!!!

Here is an article from WI Senator Frank Lasee about why he won’t advance AB210 out of his committee.  It is taken from The Daily Caller.  This is what we need from out elected officials…PRINCIPLES!!!

We have also heard that the Governor’s Office is not happy about this decision and will be attacking Senator Lasee as an Obamacare supporter.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Call the Governor’s office and tell them you applaud Senator Lasee’s decision.

Why I refuse to advance AB 210 By Sen. Frank Lasee

Over the past few weeks, Wisconsin’s state legislators have been strongly pressured to pass AB 210. The bill quickly cleared the State Assembly on October 18, after which it was assigned to the Senate Committee on Insurance and Housing, which I chair.

After a public hearing and full evaluation of the bill, I have decided to let AB 210 die in my committee. A great deal of noise will almost certainly be made about this decision. I want to provide Wisconsinites and everyone else watching this issue with the facts so that they can understand my reasons for killing this dangerous bill.

What would AB 210 achieve?

AB 210 would bring Wisconsin into compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Obamacare, and start the process of formally embedding federal law into our state statutes. Once that door is open, it cannot be closed.

As such, AB 210 would thoroughly undermine Wisconsin’s sovereign rights under the 10th Amendment, leaving the state no authority to safeguard the health care choices and rights of our citizens. We would be subject to federal control, plain and simple. Furthermore, Wisconsin’s voluntary compliance with Obamacare would compromise our credibility in the federal court case we joined in January to contest the federal law’s constitutionality.

Over the past week, my staff and I have been in close contact with a number of nationally respected public policy institutes and health care freedom advocacy groups, including:

  • The Goldwater Institute
  • The Heartland Institute
  • The Cato Institute
  • The Pacific Research Institute
  • The Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom

These experts unanimously assert that AB 210, as currently amended, poses a serious threat to Wisconsin citizens, business and industry. They firmly advise that we refuse to assist in any way with implementation of Obamacare.

They additionally agree that no amendment can fix AB 210.

My own analysis leads me to concur with their assessment.

Precisely because I am determined to protect and maintain health care freedoms for the people of Wisconsin, I stand opposed to AB 210 because of the ways in which it would entrench Obamacare in our state statutes.

Who would gain and who wouldn’t with AB 210?

A quick look into who supports AB 210 reveals that big insurance companies have united behind the bill, most notably American Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP.

In part, insurance companies support AB 210 because the bill does attempt to maximize their control over proprietary information. But they are fooling themselves. With federal law entrenched in our state statutes, Wisconsin’s insurance companies will lose any means of staving off the demand for such information. The Obama administration is interested in more control, not less. Moreover, PPACA gives the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) broad powers to change rules and regulations. That HHS wants proprietary information from all private insurance companies goes without saying.

However, AB 210 would sound a death knell for Wisconsin’s small and specialized insurers, almost certainly an attractive prospect to big insurance. As a gateway for the entrenchment of Obamacare, the bill would guarantee that only large companies — those with the resources to withstand the mountains of federal mandates Obamacare will unleash — could survive. That is not even to say that all large insurance companies would emerge unscathed.

Moreover, insurance is a key Wisconsin industry. This bill would ultimately cost many jobs that we can’t afford to lose in a difficult economy.

To take a quick tally, then, if AB 210 were to pass:

Winners:

  • Big insurance
  • Big government

Losers:

  • Wisconsin health care consumers
  • Wisconsin taxpayers
  • Wisconsin’s insurance industry
  • Wisconsin’s job market

Not exactly a good deal for Wisconsin.

Why all the pressure to advance AB 210 quickly?

AHIP’s support of AB 210 provides some clues regarding the speed at which this bill has traveled through the Wisconsin State Legislature. As with the federal mandate, better to pass this mess quickly so you don’t know what’s in it, what it does, who wins and who loses — until it’s too late.

At a public hearing on October 25, representatives of the State Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) indicated that if Wisconsin does not pass AB 210 by December 31, 2011, state residents will lose the ability to have insurance claims independently reviewed instate. They say such reviews will subsequently be assumed by a federal office in Chicago. In fact, this threat has been used very effectively so far to press Republican legislators into voting for AB 210.

But in reality this trade-off — major losses in exchange for a small advantage — does not justify quickly passing AB 210 into law. PPACA is written to establish total control over the states.

Oddly, the December 31, 2011 deadline does not appear in an Obamacare timeline prepared in mid-September by legislative counsel for AB 210’s author. Nor does it appear in any of the documentation provided by OCI to the Senate Committee on Insurance and Housing during AB 210’s public hearing on October 25. If December 31, 2011 is as crucial a date as OCI claims, one would think it would have been noted in key documentation concerning the bill intended to protect us from the consequences of missing that deadline.

What role does Wisconsin’s federal Early Innovator Grant play?

My office is currently investigating whether the mysterious December 31, 2011 deadline lies buried in agreements surrounding $49 million in Early Innovator Grant funds. The federal government awarded these funds to Wisconsin in February for the specific purpose of establishing a state or regional health care exchange. To be clear, such exchanges are yet another way HHS is working to entrench Obamacare within the states.

I have previously asserted that Wisconsin should neither hurry nor innovate to facilitate Obamacare. Yet, where other states with Republican leadership have wisely returned Early Innovator funds, Wisconsin still holds these monies. This circumstance only weakens our state’s position in relationship to the 10th Amendment and health care freedoms. To put it candidly: Accepting federal monies does not generally amount to strong states’ rights. Keeping these monies also undermines the power of SJR 21, the Health Care Freedom Amendment that is currently advancing through our state legislature.

I therefore strongly urge Governor Walker to swiftly return Wisconsin’s Early Innovator Grant funds. There is even stronger incentive to do so if the December 31 deadline that has been so heavily leveraged in pressing for the passage of AB 210 lies somewhere in those grant agreements.

What is the bottom line?

There is simply no threat or pressure strong enough to induce me to sell out the people of Wisconsin by advancing dangerous policy. AB 210 must die. The sovereignty of the State of Wisconsin must be upheld, the health care freedoms of its citizen preserved and true free-market competition in the health care insurance industry fostered.

Frank Lasee is a Wisconsin state senator (R – De Pere) and a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.