In the first of our series of webinars, Grassroots North Shore co-sponsored a presentation with Citizen Action of Wisconsin on the positive changes the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has begun to deliver to the American people. Kevin Kane, Lead Organizer, gave a talk on the Affordable Care Act and its implementation. Below, you will find his powerpoint slides from that presentation. Reviewing the talk will provide you with the information you'll need to be an effective advocate for the new healthcare law and to be an effective activist for progressive policies and candidates.
February 13, 2014: Kevin Kane, Citizen Action of Wisconsin
In this presentation, Kevin Kane argues that ultimately the state of Wisconsin will accept federal funds to expand BadgerCare. The financial advantages to the state are huge, he explains, and the results of the failure to do so are devastating to tens of thousands of Wisconsin citizens. Watch the entire presentation:
Or just view the slides:
Although Wisconsin's unemployment rate has fallen (to 6.5%), part of the decline seems to be the result of a shrinking labor pool. And the number of new unemployment claims, as reported by the US Department of Labor for the week of December 7, 2013, was the highest in the nation!
The Cap Times reported an official explanation: "Officials with the state Department of Workforce Development explain that Wisconsin historically sees a seasonal increase in unemployment claims around Thanksgiving -- in part because of deer hunting...." But of course other states also have deer hunting seasons, rendering the "explanation" curious at best. Perhaps even downright ridiculous.
But the increase in new unemployment claims was not the only unhappy outcome of Governor Walker's policies. His decision to refuse to expand Medicaid under the terms of the Affordable Care Act is going to cost Wisconsin taxpayers a bundle. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel finds that Iowa's path is quite similar in many ways to the path Wisconsin is taking, except that Iowa's strategy is going to cost its citizens "a fraction" of what Wisconsin's strategy will be costing us.
Here are the key paragraphs in the Journal Sentinel story:
The broad structure of Iowa's plan — such as relying more on private health plans and less on the traditional Medicaid program — is similar to the approach developed by Walker and approved by the Legislature to increase the number of people with health insurance.
But in Iowa, the federal government is paying the full cost for the first three years of expanding its Medicaid program to cover all adults. The federal share will eventually decline to 90% of the cost.
In contrast, Wisconsin is paying 40%, and the federal government paying the other 60%.
The difference could work out to several hundred million dollars in additional spending for Wisconsin taxpayers over the next decade.
On November 5, 2013, the Kaiser Family Foundation published State-by-State Estimates of the Number of People Eligible for Premium Tax Credits Under the Affordable Care Act. The study finds that Wisconsin has approximately 301,000 residents who are likely to be eligible for tax credits to help pay for the premiums. The study also estimates that the potential market size is 482,000.
The website also offers a simple calculator that can provide people an estimate of their premiums and tax credits to help pay for the insurance, based on their state, zip code, and income. For example, a 40 year old adult who has no children, who lives in Milwaukee, and earns $25,000 a year would be able to buy a "silver" plan for $3781 per year. But that's not what the plan will cost her. She will be eligible for tax credits totaling $2052. So her final cost for that tier of coverage will be $1729 or about $150 a month.
If she opts for a "bronze" tier plan, her out of pocket cost for health insurance will be about $873 per year, or just under $73 per month.
Sunday, November 3rd
The new health insurance options in WI can be confusing. Thousands are at risk because Walker refused to expand Medicaid. Many people do not know what their options are or how to file for insurance coverage. Learn how you, your friends, family members and neighbors can navigate the system and find affordable, accessible health insurance in Wisconsin.
Get answers from the experts:
Robert Kraig (Citizen Action of WI)
Bob DeVita (Common Ground)
Matt Hayes (Senior Law)
Danielle Zirkel (Covering Kids and Families)
- Bring your friends, relatives, colleagues – anyone who may not have health insurance or who pays for individual insurance.
- Healthcare coverage in Wisconsin can be a game changer for small businesses, would-be entrepreneurs, people just leaving college, and all those working for companies that do not provide benefits.
- The presentation will be followed by Q&A, with representatives staying afterward to answer questions and provide guidance.
Where: North Shore Presbyterian Church — 4048 N. Bartlett Ave., Shorewood (use south or northeast entrance).
When: Doors open at 3:30; presentation begins at 4:00; information and consultation with presenters available after Q&A.
Stuff (talking points) about proposed improvements to BadgerCare.