Scott Walker’s Record on Health Care


When it comes to Wisconsinites’ health and wellbeing, Gov. Scott Walker knows what should come first – his own political ambitions! On his first day in office, Gov. Walker authorized the state to join a politically motivated lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.

Walker has also played to his conservative base in rejecting federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state, resulting in thousands being kicked off the state Badgercare program and the state spending more overall to insure fewer individuals. His health care policy also tends to favor privatization and special interests like insurance companies over the health of Wisconsinites. And when it comes to women, Walker’s decisions about health are pure politics, catering to the pro-life base of the Republican party, at the expense of women’s lives.

Walker is so extreme he has tried to roll back laws guaranteeing insurance coverage of contraceptives and even supports banning abortion without exceptions for rape, incest, or even to save the life of the mother.

Research

Wisconsin State Journal
Jenni Dye, research director for the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, said there are other strategies for preventing premarital pregnancy that Walker has opposed, such as providing contraception and reproductive health services to low-income women. “Poverty will be solved through structural change that gives people opportunities to succeed, not through Gov. Walker preaching about their individual choices,” Dye said.

Capital Times
"It's fitting that the same guy who refused to be straight with Wisconsin voters about his position on abortion in 2014 is visiting a crisis pregnancy center," said Jenni Dye, research director for One Wisconsin Now and former executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. "The truth is CPCs lie to women and will do or say anything to prevent women from making educated, independent decisions about their reproductive health, just like Gov. Walker will do or say anything to get elected. On issues from abortion to immigration, Walker has proven he can't be trusted." Dye was referring to Walker's 2014 gubernatorial re-election campaign, during which he at times appeared moderate on the issue of abortion.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Jenni Dye, research director for the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said Walker was using the bill to boost his presidential bid. "This latest bill is more political opportunism, putting Walker's presidential primary politics ahead of people's health," said Dye, who previously served as the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. "It is far past time for Walker and Republican legislators to have a plan for providing affordable health care to every Wisconsinite, instead of finding new ways to cut health services like Planned Parenthood and hurt the many Wisconsinites who benefit from their services."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Jenni Dye, research director for the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, disputed Walker's comments. "Absolutely there are situations where a woman's life is in danger if she continues a pregnancy," she said. "We need someone with medical training making these decisions, not politicians," said Dye, who previously served as the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. "If Governor Walker wants to make these decisions about women's pregnancies, he should pursue a medical degree and not the presidency."

Wisconsin Gazette
One Wisconsin Now research director Jenni Dye: “It is sickening but not surprising that Gov. Walker has put his own political ambitions above the health and lives of Wisconsinites. By signing this bill, Walker has forced pure political calculation to take the place of medicine when it comes to personal decisions about a woman’s pregnancy. “That even one woman’s life or health may be put at risk so Walker can increase his credibility with the extreme right-wing Republican presidential base is as unacceptable as it is heartbreaking. If Gov. Walker wants to make medical decisions, he should pursue a medical degree instead of continuing the relentless pursuit of his own political ambitions.”

Capital Times
"It is sickening but not surprising that Gov. Walker has put his own political ambitions above the health and lives of Wisconsinites. By signing this bill, Walker has forced pure political calculation to take the place of medicine when it comes to personal decisions about a woman’s pregnancy," said Jenni Dye, research director for One Wisconsin Now and former executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. "That even one woman’s life or health may be put at risk so Walker can increase his credibility with the extreme right-wing Republican presidential base is as unacceptable as it is heartbreaking. If Gov. Walker wants to make medical decisions, he should pursue a medical degree instead of continuing the relentless pursuit of his own political ambitions."

One Wisconsin Now

Speaking straight to camera in a television ad for his 2014 gubernatorial election, Scott Walker in his own words told Wisconsin he supported leaving, “the final decision to a woman and her doctor.” After being criticized for the ad by right-wing power brokers he needs to win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Gov. Scott Walker called for a new abortion ban in Wisconsin. The State Assembly gave final passage to that ban today and in the process interfered in the intensely personal decisions of women to terminate a wanted pregnancy and put their judgment before medical professionals to boost Gov. Walker’s political ambition.

Associated Press

Gov. Scott Walker said Monday he will sign a proposed 20-week abortion ban whether or not it includes an exemption for cases of rape or incest. Walker, who had previously expressed support for the bill that's on a fast track in the Wisconsin Legislature, said it didn't matter whether there was an exemption. As introduced, there is none in the bill.

One Wisconsin Now

In a recent radio interview nationally recognized women’s reproductive health expert, Dr. Douglas Laube, said the new abortion ban proposed by legislative Republicans and supported by Gov. Scott Walker (Assembly Bill 237/Senate Bill 179) could force a woman terminating a pregnancy to save her life to undergo an invasive cesarean section (c-section) surgery that dramatically increases the chance of injury to or death of the mother.

Daily Beast
“When Sarah Palin was trying to derail Obamacare over ‘death panels,’ Scott Walker didn't say a word defending the need for people to have end-of-life counseling and instead on his first day as governor wasted taxpayer dollars suing the federal government over Obamacare,” said Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now. “But wrapped in a scheme that would make cash-strapped middle-class workers in Wisconsin pay even more for health care, Team Walker quietly slides this into the mix. The inclusion of the palliative counseling is critical, but Scott Walker would have saved families a lot of grief if he would have stood up to the Tea Party in 2010 instead of this backdoor deal now.”

Capital Times
"This Walker-backed abortion ban is so extreme that there are no exceptions for rape and incest," said Jenni Dye, research director for One Wisconsin Now and former executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin. "It could even prevent doctors treating a woman with a medical emergency from using the procedure most likely to save her life or her health. It is a heartless attempt by politicians to dictate women's lives, instead of leaving these intensely personal decisions to Wisconsin women."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On his first day as governor of Wisconsin, Walker authorized a state lawsuit challenging Obama's signature health care law and, in part because of the success of states' legal challenges to the federal Affordable Care Act, later opted not to use federal money under that law to expand state health programs.

Washington Post
In an interview last week with radio host Charlie Sykes, this exchange happened:
SYKES: You may have a major decision coming up in a few months. If the Supreme Court rules in this King v. Burwell case that nobody in Wisconsin can continue to receive federal Obamacare subsidies, there is going to be tremendous pressure on Republican governors — including you — to create a state exchange. What are you gonna do? Do you have contingency plans in place? WALKER: We’re gonna push back. This is a problem that was created by this president and the Congress that was in the majority at that time. There’s gonna be incredible pressure — we heard it about a month and a half ago when I was at the White House with all the other governors from across the country. The president doesn’t have a fallback plan. But this is not something the state created. This is something the federal government — this president and the Congress created. They’ve gotta come up with a solution.
Blaming post-King chaos on Obama and Democrats will obviously be the first thing GOP governors like Walker try to do. But Democrats don’t control Congress anymore. And according to law professor Nicholas Bagley, who has taken a close look at the administration’s options for a forthcoming legal paper, there is little Obama can do on his own. “The Obama administration has no good options for picking up the pieces after an adverse ruling in King,” Bagley tells me. “It can probably make it slightly easier for states to establish their own exchanges and it might even be able to treat some federally facilitated exchanges as state-based exchanges. But, even under the most optimistic scenario, millions of people will still lose their health coverage and the insurance markets in many states will collapse. The notion that the administration has the unilateral authority to restore tax credits nationwide is just wrong.” What this means is that, if Walker really is going to demand that the “federal government” fix the problem, that would mean demanding that Congressional Republicans participate in any such fix. The post-King mess could be particularly acute in Wisconsin: Because of a decision Walker made to shift people from Medicaid to subsidized private insurance, significantly more people may be on subsidies than otherwise might have been, meaning Walker could be on the political hook for the mess. Some 185,000 Wisconsinites qualify for subsidies.”

RH Reality Check

“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in the lead-up to an expected presidential bid, is continuing a push to align himself with the most conservative elements of the Republican Party, writing in an email to supporters on Monday that the United States should move forward with “bold conservative reforms to improve health care,” in place of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA, despite concerted efforts by congressional Republicans and GOP-controlled state legislatures to undermine the law, has added 16.4 million people to health insurance rolls since October 2013. Walker’s email, written on the five-year anniversary of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, lambasts the health-care reform law and President Obama (emphasis his):Obamacare gets a failing grade and for once…just once…I wish President Obama would admit that he was wrong. We told him so but he refused to listen.President Obama is turning the most advanced and successful healthcare system in the world upside down.Five years into this policy debacle, the American people are saying, “So Far, So Bad.” The facts tell a different story. Not only have millions of citizens gained access to health insurance, but hospital costs have shot down by 20 percent across all states, and by 26 percent in states that have expanded Medicaid—a key element of President Obama’s health-care law.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“A federal judge on Friday struck down a Wisconsin law requiring doctors performing abortions to get hospital-admitting privileges, concluding that the measure was enacted primarily to provide an obstacle for women seeking abortions. U.S. District Judge William Conley, who earlier had put the law on hold, ruled that the 2013 law is unconstitutional. He issued a permanent injunction blocking its enforcement. "The only reasonable conclusion is that the legislation was motivated by an improper purpose, namely to restrict the availability of abortion services in Wisconsin," Conley wrote.”

RH Reality Check
“It is true that unfortunately, given the way that politics are playing out in Wisconsin, with an incredibly anti-choice legislature and governor, we won’t be seeing increases in reproductive care access coming from the state level,” said Jenni Dye, research director at One Wisconsin Now and member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, in which Madison is found. “It’s incredibly important in this period of time to have local officials step up and say they are committed to and will fight for broader access. It keeps the dialogue going.”

One Wisconsin Now

One Wisconsin Now is warning New Hampshire voters to beware this weekend when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker visits to audition for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination. Behind Walker’s rhetoric of economic recovery and courageous, principled action is a trail of deceit, cronyism, corruption and incompetence that includes a sagging state economy, mismanaged budgets, criminal investigations and payoffs to special interests – topped off with politically expedient flip-flops pandering to the most extreme Tea Party wing of the GOP.

Capital Times
In four mere months since his last election, Gov. Walker has reversed his public position to pander to the most extreme Tea Party elements in the nation on immigration, abortion, workplace rights and ethanol in service of his personal political ambitions

Politico

“Shifting his tone to reassure social conservatives, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared Tuesday that he intends to sign a state law in the coming months that bans abortion after 20 weeks. In an open letter to the Susan B. Anthony List, the likely Republican presidential candidate also said that he supports “similar legislation” now stalled in Congress. “My policies throughout my career have earned a 100 percent rating with pro-life groups in Wisconsin,” Walker writes. “As the Wisconsin legislature moves forward in the coming session, further protections for mother and child are likely to come to my desk in the form of a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. I will sign that bill when it gets to my desk and support similar legislation on the federal level.”

Scott Walker letter to SBA List

“Life is a value I learned from my parents, and it’s a value I have cherished every day, predating my time in politics. My policies throughout my career have earned a 100% rating with pro-life groups in Wisconsin. Just in my first term I signed numerous pieces of pro-life legislation and I will continue working for every life...We prohibited abortion from being covered by health plans in a health exchange.”

Governing.com
“The state would stay the course and turn down federal money to expand Wisconsin's health programs for the needy, under Gov. Scott Walker's 2015 budget proposal....In 2013, the Republican governor rejected taking federal incentives to expand the state's Medicaid programs, saying the deal risked entangling the state in exponentially growing future costs. Democrats say that Walker's approach means that state taxpayers today are paying more to cover fewer people in the BadgerCare Plus health plan. At the heart of the issue lies the question of how Wisconsin should handle the federal Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, which sought to persuade states to add health coverage by promising to pay all of their short-term and most of their long-term costs to do so. Walker has declined that offer, part of his strategy to limit the state's involvement in the Affordable Care Act, and his 2015-'17 budget proposal would continue that approach.

Governing.com

“As of last fall, BadgerCare had added about 97,500 adults without children who were below this cutoff of 100% of the federal poverty level, with state taxpayers covering a little more than 40% of the cost and federal money paying the rest. Meanwhile, the state has dropped about 57,000 adults from BadgerCare with incomes between 100% and 133% of the poverty level. The governor said in 2013 that the great majority of those adults losing their BadgerCare would receive subsidized coverage by buying it on the private market or through an online federal marketplace created under the health care law. So far, only about one in three has done that.”

Governing.com

“Under Obamacare, federal taxpayers would have paid 100% of the cost for the adults that the state is bringing onto BadgerCare if Wisconsin hadn't dropped its coverage of the adults with somewhat higher incomes. The federal government's share eventually would drop to 90% of the cost. The decision to reject that federal money is estimated to have a net cost to the state of more than $100 million in the current two-year budget. The extra federal money would have allowed the state to cover an estimated 84,700 more people through BadgerCare.”

Wisconsin State Journal

“Some recipients of public benefits, including Medicaid, unemployment and food stamps, would be required to undergo drug testing, under budget proposal announced Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker. The governor rolled out his “workforce readiness plan” Thursday ahead of the scheduled unveiling of his 2015-17 state budget proposal on Feb. 3. The proposals announced Thursday are aimed at providing more workers for “high-need” fields such as manufacturing, Walker said. Drug testing could affect tens of thousands of Wisconsinites receiving benefits; those failing drug tests would be offered free drug treatment and job training, the governor said...Drug testing the unemployed would apply only for people “for whom suitable work is only available in certain occupations,” Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said. Information on which jobs or job seekers would be subject to drug testing was not immediately available. About 40,000 people currently receive unemployment benefits. The budget also will include language seeking permission from the federal government to test all “able-bodied” adults without dependents on FoodShare, as well as all childless adults on Medicaid. Some broad-based programs in other states that tested all recipients have been halted after courts found them unconstitutional.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“NEWCAP and Family Planning Health Services, as well as other organizations that provide reproductive health services in the state, contend they were paid for contraceptives and other prescription drugs at a rate agreed upon and set by the Department of Health Services in 2009. "We've been following the instructions we have been given, and we've been following them for five years," said Molly Fuller, president and chief executive of Family Planning Health Services. All of the family planning clinics, including those run by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, are paid the same rate by the state. "We are all doing it the same way," said Nicole Safar, director of policy and legal advocacy for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. The Office of the Inspector General's contention, first reported by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, has raised more questions than answers. How could the clinics overbill for contraceptives and other prescription drugs when the state sets the payment rate? And if the state did pay the clinics too much for the drugs, how could it go undetected for five years? The Department of Health Services isn't saying. The department declined to comment on the audits or explain how it pays family planning clinics for birth-control bills and other prescription drugs. Nor has it answered questions raised by the family planning organizations in their response to the audits.

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Planned Parenthood Public policy director Nicole Safar called the audits “clinic-closing” and said she was concerned the clinics were being targeted for political reasons. Department of Health Services Inspector General Alan White defended his auditors’ choice of targets and their findings. The drug billing program at issue is about $110 million a year of the $7 billion Medicaid budget...In preliminary findings issued to the nonprofits in August, Office of Inspector General auditors wrote that Family Planning Health Services Inc. overbilled Medicaid by $2.3 million, and NEWCAP Inc. by $1.2 million, from 2010 to 2011...FPHS and NEWCAP have responded and are waiting to hear back from the OIG. If the agency sends a notice of intent to recover money, the groups can appeal. The auditors are challenging a reimbursement price for oral contraception that providers say the state itself set and is what their peers use.”... ...Two Democratic lawmakers, Rep Chris Taylor of Madison and Sen Dave Hansen of Green Bay, wrote the [Office of Inspector General] on Oct. 27 saying “there appears to be no legal basis” for the claims. They asked the office to produce a list of open audits to prove it is not disproportionately targeting providers serving or staffed by women. White would not answer how NEWCAP and FPHS specifically were chosen for audits but denied that it was political. There were no complaints of fraud against NEWCAP or FPHS, or claims that they did not provide the birth control.

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
“Two Democratic lawmakers, Rep Chris Taylor of Madison and Sen Dave Hansen of Green Bay, wrote the [Office of Inspector General] on Oct. 27 saying “there appears to be no legal basis” for the claims. They asked the office to produce a list of open audits to prove it is not disproportionately targeting providers serving or staffed by women. White would not answer how NEWCAP and FPHS specifically were chosen for audits but denied that it was political. There were no complaints of fraud against NEWCAP or FPHS, or claims that they did not provide the birth control.”

Politifact

“The ad alludes to a July 2013 Wisconsin law that requires women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound -- either transabdominally, which is done externally, or transvaginally. Wisconsin is among two dozen states that require an ultrasound before an abortion is performed. In Wisconsin, exceptions are made in cases of sexual assault or medical emergency. The governor’s office praised the measure, saying it "improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future." The law was opposed by the Wisconsin Medical Society, among others. The society said the measure as a "direct infringement on the patient-physician relationship" and for injecting "non-evolving government mandates into medical science."...The law doesn’t mandate transvaginal ultrasounds, rather it says the woman seeking an abortion can choose either a transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound. But medical professionals say that the new requirement, as a practical matter, means some women have to get a transvaginal ultrasound.”

Capital Times

Walker has led the way on a "no exceptions" stance for Wisconsin in the past. As a state lawmaker, in 1998, he co-authored a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks, even in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s health was in jeopardy. Physicians who performed the procedure would have faced life in prison. In 2010, he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board that he is completely opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.

One Wisconsin Now

 In a recent campaign television ad Gov. Scott Walker, on record as opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest, speaks directly to the camera and tries to minimize the impact of “the bill”. Based on his long track record of supporting, authoring, voting for and signing into law measures that restrict women's access to healthcare services including abortion, One Wisconsin Now is asking Gov. Walker to clarify which bill he was referring to in his TV ad.

One Wisconsin Now

 In an attempt to appear moderate while also keeping his 2016 Republican presidential primary ambitions alive, career politician Scott Walker has taken to the airwaves and the internet to try to cover up his extreme views, while also touting them. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Gov. Walker's 20-year demonstrated record of extremism on women's reproductive health issues and a “100 percent” rating from an extremist group are at odds with his new TV ad in which he speaks directly to camera.

Capital Times
Pro-Life Wisconsin issued its own endorsement list in July, before the Aug. 12 primary election, followed by a narrowed list for the Nov. 4 general election. Most notably, the group did not publicly endorse any candidates in the races for attorney general, lieutenant governor or governor for the primary or general elections...The liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, which raised questions about the claim of the endorsement, also noted the language on the page appears to be nearly identical language copied from previous Walker campaign websites. The language has been hosted on ScottWalker.com since the domain was changed from ScottWalker.org in January 2014. The same "values" description was on the ScottWalker.org website during Walker's recall campaign in 2012.

Huffington Post

“A fifth Planned Parenthood health center closed in Wisconsin on Thursday due to state budget cuts that directed family planning money away from the provider. The Fond du Lac clinic did not provide abortion services. It offered birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, pregnancy tests, annual exams and breast cancer screenings to over 1,000 patients a year. A spokesperson for the clinic blamed the closure directly on Gov. Scott Walker (R), whose 2011-2013 budget eliminated over $1 million in state funding to Planned Parenthood clinics.”

Capital Times
“Amid allegations Wisconsin has been incorrectly applying the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling to state insurance law, a spokesman with the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance Thursday clarified statements made throughout the week and said the state is still enforcing its Contraceptive Equity Law. “We are enforcing it — the state contraceptive mandate — except where it is preempted under federal law by the accommodation under the Affordable Care Act,” spokesman J.P. Wieske said Thursday.”

RH Reality Check

“On Monday, a spokesperson from Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration told the conservative website Media Trackers that Wisconsin will no longer require employers to follow the state law mandating coverage. Current state law in Wisconsin mandates that companies with insurance plans covering certain services, like outpatient care, preventive treatment, and prescription drugs, must also cover contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration and prescribed by a health-care provider.”

One Wisconsin Now

 In his first state budget in 2011, Gov. Scott Walker unsuccessfully attempted to repeal the state law guaranteeing contraceptive equity for women in their health care. This week the Walker administration announced it is halting enforcement of Wisconsin’s equity law, using the Hobby Lobby decision as justification, despite being quoted as saying, “It really hasn’t been an issue for us.”

Huffington Post
“The Wisconsin Well Woman Program provides preventative health screening services to low-income women who are uninsured or underinsured. It has been credited with providing more than 500,000 breast and cervical cancer screenings to more than 70,000 women. The system is designed to help women locally, with a "coordinating agency" in each of the state's 72 counties aimed at helping women navigate the system of more than 1,000 participating providers. But in December, the state Department of Health Services notified participants that the entire system was set to change on July 1, blaming the Affordable Care Act...Under the new system, there would be only five to 10 coordinating agencies in the state, and only a handful of health care providers. Although the restructuring was set to go into effect in just a few months, the state hadn't said who those providers would be, causing significant consternation among advocates, coordinators, providers and patients who were unable to schedule follow-up appointments because they didn't know which doctors would be available and how far they might have to travel.”

Huffington Post

“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) administration announced Friday evening that it was delaying its controversial restructuring of a popular health care program for low-income women, after an outcry from women's health advocates..." Stakeholders in the provider and coordinator communities have reached out to us with questions, concerns, and suggestions about how the proposed model would work. We have listened carefully, and have modified our original proposal based on those concerns," McKeown wrote to local health offices, WWWP providers and WWWP coordinators. By Dec. 1, the state will begin to select the providers who will form the new network. By April 1, 2015, it plans to have the new structure of providers and regional coordinators in place, with everything up and running by July.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Walker's county and campaign staffs collaborated in determining how to respond to one issue after another — sexual assaults of patients at the complex, security lapses, controversial remarks by Milwaukee County's mental health administrator. At one point, Walker's campaign manager complained that a county lawyer needed to "think political for a change." Walker played an active role in how to respond, even when he insisted on staying at a distance publicly.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"We need to continue to keep me out of the story as this is a process issue and not a policy matter," Walker wrote on March 27, 2010. The issue at that point was fallout from stories on a patient sexual assault of another patient that resulted in a pregnancy. [...] In this exchange, Walker was careful to send the email to personal accounts — not official county email accounts — of his county staffers. "We need to be 100% certain that everything is working and that all state and federal regulations are in place," Walker wrote. He also directed mental health administrators to "keep us in the loop on all issues going on at BHD," referring to the county's Behavioral Health Division. And Walker suggested reaching out to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial writers, noting: "The next problem will be editorials and this can nip it in the butt."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

John Chianelli, then administrator of the county's Behavioral Health Division, was quoted telling county supervisors that sexual assaults in mixed-gender wards were a trade-off for more violent assaults that would happen in all-male psychiatric units. Walker's staff furiously exchanged views on what to do. Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager, told Rindfleisch: "We won't be commenting at all." Rindfleisch emailed back that Walker wasn't likely to comment and that "it's not really (Walker's) place" to weigh in on Chianelli's remarks. An effort through a lawyer hired by the county to handle patient abuse claims might help to discourage further comment by supervisors, Rindfleisch wrote. A Journal Sentinel reporter "doesn't get any traction if he can't get anyone to say anything," she said. Exchanges on May 10 among Walker's campaign and county staff ended with Walker drafting a statement to be issued by a county official saying "any form of violence at the Mental Health Complex is unacceptable." Chianelli was later demoted, then resigned.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gilkes told Rindfleisch to prod a county lawyer — then-Deputy Corporation Counsel Timothy Schoewe — to take a tougher stance. "Just do me a favor and tell him that we are getting the crap kicked out of us by the County Board," Gilkes wrote. "At some point I would like him to stop being a lawyer and think political for a change and let us fight back." The emails released Wednesday included a message by Mark Cameli, a private lawyer for the county, attempting to persuade Journal Sentinel Managing Editor George Stanley to withhold publication of an article about Chianelli's remarks to supervisors. They were made during a closed session but later disclosed by several supervisors, including Lynne De Bruin. She said danger to patients outweighed her obligation to keep quiet about the discussion and provided notes she took from the session and a letter she wrote to a reporter. Stanley told Cameli, "There is no way a letter from an elected county official to a county administrator is protected by attorney-client privilege. It's a public record, period."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Rindfleisch was sarcastic about the Mental Health Complex issue in a Sept. 2, 2010, email to a friend. "Last week was a nightmare," she wrote. "A bad story every day on our looney bin. Doctors having sex with patients, patients getting knocked up. This has been coming for months and I've unofficially been dealing with it. So, it's been crazy (pun intended)." Rindfleisch seemed unconcerned the mental health controversies would hurt Walker's chances with voters in the governor's race. In a Sept. 1, 2010, email she said she expected Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to make the issue "the center of his campaign" for governor against Walker. She agreed with Joan Hansen — then a county official and later a deputy secretary for the state Department of Children and Families — that Barrett would lose. "Yep," Rindfleisch replied. "No one cares about crazy people." The emails show how Walker's campaign staff dictated county personnel moves.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Instructions from Scott Walker's campaign manager were explicit: Delay settlement of a long-standing legal case over the starvation-relateddeath of Cindy Anczak at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. "Could care less what it is on," Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes wrote in an Oct. 22, 2010, email exchange with a Walker aide at the county, referring to the claim's legal basis. "Keep it buried until Nov. 2nd and then hopefully they'll settle." Walker went on to win his term as governor that Nov. 2. Anczak's parents, Jean and Myron Anczak of Greendale, would wait another full year before the county approved a $125,000 settlement. The emails were part of thousands released last week in an appeal by Kelly Rindfleisch of her 2012 felony conviction for misconduct in office. Rindfleisch was Walker's deputy chief of staff during his last year as county executive.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

After Chianelli was demoted for his handling of sexual assaults at the complex, Gilkes wrote to Walker's staff about the need to fire him: "I think we throw John under the bus for covering up how dysfunctional the place is." The campaign took a hard line on reacting to the sexual assault scandal, even as county staff members pleaded for mercy for Chianelli. "I feel bad, too, but the reality is that this needs to be a clean break," Gilkes wrote. "Now is not the time to be exchanging accolades."

One Wisconsin Now

Asking corporate special interests, “how can we love you more?” in closed-door meetings may be paying off with adulation from corporate CEOs for Gov. Walker’s Administration, but for the rest of us the state economy continues to lag the nation and region in economic growth. A recent survey of an elite slice of big business CEOs being touted by Gov. Walker is at odds with the economic reality for the rest of the state.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Legislation approved by Walker and GOP lawmakers requires some 77,000 adults in BadgerCare with incomes above the poverty line — $23,550 for a family of four — to be dropped from that state Medicaid coverage....Democrats note that some GOP governors have extended Medicaid coverage more broadly in their states by taking extra federal money available for that health program under the law. Expanding coverage in that way would save the state up to $119 million through June 2015, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.Elizabeth Schinderle, a spokeswoman for CMS in Chicago, made the same point Thursday. "This policy is unfortunately not the long-term solution we would like to see. As a result of the governor's decision to not expand Medicaid coverage, many people in Wisconsin will not have access to affordable coverage because of state-imposed limits on enrollment. We urge Wisconsin to fix this avoidable gap in coverage by expanding Medicaid and taking advantage of generous federal funding," she said in an email.

One Wisconsin Now

 “S is For Shill,” a new report from One Wisconsin Now, in association with the ProgressNow network and the Center for Media and Democracy, exposes a web of right-wing funders advancing a radical privatization agenda through the use of Wisconsin-based front groups. In addition to support from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, innocuously named groups like the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) and the MacIver Institute are part of the larger State Policy Network (SPN), a right-wing, dark money funded pro-privatization propaganda effort.

One Wisconsin Now

As Gov. Scott Walker and the right wing noise machine shift into overdrive in their efforts to boost sagging opinion of his job performance, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that, try as they might, the fact remains on issue after issue, the Walker administration has been an abysmal failure.

One Wisconsin Now

Today Gov. Walker “jets” to New York to attend a fundraiser, hosted by Woody Johnson, billionaire owner of the New York Jets football team, for the benefit of the Republican National Committee. Meanwhile back in Wisconsin, news outlets are reporting that the Walker administration is mailing letters to approximately 92,000 Wisconsin citizens notifying them that, because of provisions in his 2013-15 state budget, they will be losing their state BadgerCare health insurance.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Friday requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges, and abortion clinics responded by immediately suing state officials over the measure. The law — signed Friday by Walker in a private ceremony — would cut the number of clinics offering abortions in Wisconsin from four to two, and one of the remaining clinics would have to dramatically cut the number of abortions it provides, according to the operators of the clinics. "When women don't have access to safe, legal abortions, there are health consequences and women die," said Teri Huyck, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.”

Politico

Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a contentious Republican bill Friday that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and ban doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing the procedures. Opponents contend legislators shouldn't force women to undergo any medical procedure and the bill will force two abortion clinics where providers lack admitting privileges to shut their doors. The law takes effect Monday. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit within hours of the signing alleging the bill is unconstitutional and asking for a temporary restraining order blocking the measure.”

One Wisconsin Now

In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. The failures of today are, sadly, not new. In Walker's time as Milwaukee County Executive, local economic development efforts were bungled and services for the most vulnerable were mismanaged and neglected.

One Wisconsin Now

In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. In today's installment, as the Republican controlled legislature is poised to adopt even more radical, right-wing legislation attacking women's health care, the lowlights of Gov. Walker's abysmal record on the issue are up.

Common Dreams

OWN is highlighting different Walker fails over the course of 20 days. Day two discusses right wing legislation attacking women’s health care. Scot Ross commented, “When given the choice between protecting women’s access to safe and legal health care services or pandering to the most extreme right-wing of the Republican Party, Scott Walker has sided with the extremists over Wisconsin women every time.”

One Wisconsin Now

In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. In today's installment, Gov. Walker's anti-voter record is “highlighted”.

One Wisconsin Now

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wondered whether Wisconsin Republicans and their businesses that have paid no state income tax in recent years will be joining the rest of us doing our part to help pay for services like education, health care, public safety and roads.

One Wisconsin Now

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said Rep. Paul Ryan’s call for the repeal of ObamaCare, and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s support for legislation to defund health insurance exchanges, seem targeted to undermine Gov. Walker’s latest health care scheme in the 2013-15 state budget.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Planned Parenthood will be closing four rural Wisconsin locations between April and July because the nonprofit health care organization has lost $1.1 million in state funding, officials announced Monday. The centers in Beaver Dam, Johnson Creek, Chippewa Falls and Shawano don't get enough private funding to stay financially viable without the state support, which the Legislature eliminated in the 2011-'13 state budget. The locations are the only reproductive health care providers in their communities, officials said during a conference call from Madison...Planned Parenthood officials stressed that the $1.1 million the organization lost in state funding for nine counties mainly paid for infrastructure costs. The money was never used to provide abortion services, which would have been against state and federal laws, officials said.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

If the federal government keeps its current commitments, Gov. Scott Walker's plan for avoiding a full expansion of the BadgerCare program under the federal health care law would cost Wisconsin taxpayers roughly $250 million more through 2020, under preliminary estimates by the Legislature's nonpartisan budget office. In addition to lower state costs, the full expansion of the Medicaid health program would also cover tens of thousands more people than the Republican governor's proposal.

One Wisconsin Now

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding reports that Gov. Walker will announce he will reject an expansion of federal Medicaid coverage in Wisconsin and a radical roll back of state health insurance assistance at the state big business lobby day:

2013 Assembly Bill 40
As a result of the budget:
  • Due to the Republican plan to reject Medicaid expansion, taxpayers will pay $206 million more to provide healthcare to 84,700 fewer people
  • Instead of using a balanced approach, this budget takes a surplus built on record cuts to public schools and goes into future deficit in order to give a tax cut targeted toward the wealthiest people
  • Rolling back consumer protections to favor predatory payday loan shops, cable companies & makers of lead paint

2013 Assembly Bill 40
The 2013-15 budget included provisions greatly expanding Wisconsin’s estate recovery program, allowing the state to recover Medicaid expenses from a deceased recipient’s estate or from the surviving spouse’s estate. The changes go far beyond requirements of federal law, and elder law attorneys warned the changes could lead to some elderly couples getting divorced or could make it more difficult for children to inherit family farms, businesses or other property.

One Wisconsin Now

A report that Gov. Walker’s gubernatorial campaign manager directed his Milwaukee County staff to “drag out” fulfilling requests under the state open records law for information related to a tragic incident involving the death of a young boy outside a county owned facility may not be an isolated incident, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Numerous open record requests made by One Wisconsin Now experienced the same fate, with delays of up to six months and the charging exorbitant fees for simple information.

Biz Times

As expected, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced today that he will not attempt to create a state health care insurance exchange for Wisconsin residents and will instead defer that chore to the federal government. To comply with the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, the governors of the states must inform the Obama administration today whether or not they will pursue federal funding to help them establish the exchanges. If they do not wish to form their own exchanges, the federal government will create the exchanges for them. “Gov. Walker decided that his chances for higher office in the tea party-controlled Republican Party are more important than doing his job,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now executive director. “Wisconsin knows that Gov. Walker wants big insurance companies to be allowed to deny people with pre-existing conditions access to care because big insurance owns Scott Walker.”

WBAY-TV
The Progressive group One Wisconsin Now says that with the decision, the governor put his presidential aspirations ahead of the people of Wisconsin. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wrote in a statement, ”Bowing to right-wing fringe extremists isn’t new for Scott Walker, but this is a clear signal that raw partisan politics and not simple human decency are behind the decisions Scott Walker makes as governor.”

One Wisconsin Now

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the 100th birthday of the late corporate propagandist Milton Friedman. Many of the failures of Gov. Scott Walker can be traced to the policies espoused by Friedman, most notably massive tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, while attacking public investments and public employees.

One Wisconsin Now

While Gov. Scott Walker refuses to implement health care exchanges in Wisconsin, Minnesota’s progress on offering consumers and businesses the opportunity to leverage their resources to purchase affordable, private health insurance will, according to recent news reports, create 100 new jobs at Waukesha County based Connecture, Inc.

Biz Times

The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld President Barack Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which is commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” ne Wisconsin Now deputy director Mike Browne said, “One of Gov. Walker's first acts upon taking office was authorizing the use of taxpayer dollars to sue to repeal Obamacare. Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the arguments of Gov. Walker and other opponents of health insurance reform. 

WLUK-TV
One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne: “It’s time for Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans to stop fighting against Wisconsin consumers and work with Democrats to implement health insurance reform.”

Badger Herald

“Gov. Scott Walker signed four bills relating to women’s reproductive health and pay equality without the usual public fanfare last Thursday, a move that came under fire from Democrats and advocacy groups. Walker signed the four bills into law on Thursday and announced their signing, along with 47 other bills, in a statement released the following day. The first three bills relate to abortions in the state, and the fourth relates to women’s health issues, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau. One piece of legislation repeals Wisconsin’s Healthy Youth Act.”

Wisconsin State Journal
Walker, a Republican, signed the bills Thursday but didn't announce the move until midday Friday, when his office released a list of more than 50 bills he signed Thursday and Friday...Walker also signed a bill that prohibits workers from collecting damages in employment discrimination cases. Under current state law, employees who prevail in discrimination lawsuits can collect between $50,000 and $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. The Republican bill blocks anyone from collecting such damages in employment discrimination suits. The state Department of Workforce Development could still award an employee back pay, costs and attorney fees, however. Democrats say the bill hurts women who might suffer discrimination in the workplace.

Wisconsin Radio Network

“The legislature’s budget committee on Wednesday signed off on changes to BadgerCare. Some 44,000 BadgerCare enrollees will see premium increases, while more than 22,000 will be dropped from the state-run Medicaid program. Representative Corey Mason questioned Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith. “What is your response to the very real impact that may occur for the people of Wisconsin who may not be able to afford health care?” Mason said many of his constituents will struggle with the changes. “They’re on the bubble right now about whether or not they are eligible for BadgerCare. When they look in the private market what they find are plans that are $1700 a month with a $5000 deductible.” “We have families today, at a hundred and fifty percent of poverty, on BadgerCare, paying ten dollars a month for their coverage,” said Smith. “And I have people who work for me, as state employees earning less income than that, paying $200 a month. How do I say that is equitable? What are we saying to the neighbor next door who’s paying over $300 a month for their coverage?” Smith said no children in Wisconsin will lose their BadgerCare eligibility, under terms of the plan negotiated with federal officials.”

Isthmus
“The day after a recall campaign was launched against Gov. Scott Walker in November, Foster Friess gave the governor $100,000. Friess is the wealthy supporter of socially conservative causes -- and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum -- who infamously stated on MSNBC earlier this month that an aspirin could double as birth control for a woman. "You know, back in my days, they'd use Bayer aspirin for contraceptives," he said. "The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly." In October 2010, Friess gave Walker $4,600. The same month his wife, Lynnette, gave him $6,100.”

Insurance Journal

The federal government has rejected Wisconsin’s request to phase in a requirement that health insurers spent 80 cents of every dollar in premiums on medical care, one of the provisions of the Obama administration’s health care reform. Gov. Scott Walker’s administration wanted to implement the change over three years for health insurance sold to individuals and families. It had also proposed that health insurers be required to spend a minimum of 71 percent on medical claims in 2011 and 74 percent this year. The state insurance commissioner contended that companies might be forced to leave the Wisconsin market if the so-called 80-20 rule were immediately implemented. But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the state failed to provide data to support that contention, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report. The agency said 12 of the 15 insurance companies that sell individual insurance in the state are already at or near the 80 percent spending mark, and two of the other three companies are expected to meet the requirement for 2011.

One Wisconsin Now

Governor Scott Walker failed to tackle Wisconsin’s jobs crisis - posting six straight months of job losses here while nationally jobs are being added - and is now poised to take on “the truth” in his second State of the State address.

Mother Jones

“Beth Kaplan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services, told Mother Jones that no decision has been made on the contract and would not comment on why it might not be continued. But Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, says they were told that the state is cutting them out of the program. "They have very clearly stated that they were ending the contract with us," she says. (UPDATE: Walker himself has confirmed that the state is ending its contract with Planned Parenthood...The move puts in question what will happen to the more than 1,000 women that access the Well Woman Program through Planned Parenthood in Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, and Outagamie counties every year.)

Shepherd Express

When Dennis Smith, Gov. Scott Walker's secretary of the state Department of Health Services (DHS), conducted a public outreach tour to explain how he wanted to cut $467 million from Medicaid programs, he didn't mention how many kids from low-income families would lose their health care coverage. Instead, Smith focused on "fairness," and asked that low-income families pay their "fair share" for their BadgerCare coverage. Smith didn't mention that 29,000 children—plus 34,000 adults—would likely lose their BadgerCare coverage if his "reforms" are implemented. Another 104,000 adults would be required to pay more toward their Medicaid coverage. Smith is asking the federal government for a waiver to implement his reform of Medicaid programs, something the Republican-led Legislature authorized him to do since it failed to fully fund the program in the state budget. If Smith doesn't receive the federal waiver by Dec. 31, the Legislature will allow him to drop more than 53,000 adult BadgerCare recipients from the program in July 2012. Although Smith's plan would reduce state spending by $90 million, it would also mean losing more than $135 million in federal funding for Medicaid, since the federal government pays about 60% of the Medicaid costs. In contrast, kicking 53,000 individuals from the program next year would result in a $60 million reduction in state spending and a loss of $90 million in federal money.

2011 WI Act 70

On November 16, 2011, Walker signed a bill into law that weakens regulations of nursing homes, prohibiting “dual enforcement” of federal and state requirements and give nursing homes more time to pay citations. The Assembly passed the bill 70-22, and the Senate 24-7. Walker signed the bill into law on November 16, 2011. (2011 SB 212, introduced 10/5/2011; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call)

Wisconsin State Journal
Schools in Wisconsin that teach sex education would be required to promote abstinence and marriage under a bill passed by the state Senate Wednesday night on a party-line vote. The controversial Republican-backed legislation would dismantle a new state law passed by Democrats last year, which requires schools that offer sex education to include information about contraceptives. The new measure wouldn't ban teaching about contraception, but it would require schools offering sex ed to stress abstinence as the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Wisconsin State Journal

The bill, announced Monday, would put the Legislature back in charge of deciding costs and eligibility associated with Medicaid and Badgercare, essentially taking the state back to a time before Gov. Scott Walker took office. The proposal comes in response to potential cuts announced last week by Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith, which outlined changes in care for more than 200,000 people and the possibility of cutting another 53,000 off the rolls entirely…Smith announced a series of cost-cutting measures last week, most of them aimed at addressing the $554 million needed to balance the state's medical assistance programs. Under his plan, some 215,000 children and adults would be shifted to lower-cost state plans. If the state fails to receive a federal waiver allowing it to change eligibility requirements, some 53,000 adults could be dropped from coverage altogether.

MSNBC

“There will be thousands and thousands of people across Wisconsin to lose their health care coverage,” One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross says. Liberal group One Wisconsin now is blasting the cuts, which include $100 million from Family Care and $54 million from Badger Care Plus, which helps the uninsured pay for health care coverage. “Health care costs rise as people aren’t able to get affordable care when they need it most,” Ross says.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

To fill a half-billion dollar budget hole in state health programs, Gov. Scott Walker's administration wants to raise premiums sharply for some families and shift hundreds of thousands of residents to lower-cost state plans or private plans. Officials said they do not intend to leave participants without any path to coverage. State officials said there is now a $554 million estimated deficit - $110 million more than previously projected - through June 2013 in state Medicaid health programs, which provide everything from doctor's visits for poor families to nursing home care for the elderly. To close that gap and control fast-growing costs, state Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith said that the state would avoid dropping state residents with no other options for health insurance. Instead, officials will look at shifting more than 200,000 state Medicaid recipients into a lower-cost plan with fewer benefits.

Wisconsin State Journal

“Among measures cheered by anti-abortion groups, the 2011-13 biennial budget prohibits any entity that provides abortions at any of its facilities from participating in the state's family planning program. The change renders Planned Parenthood, which performs abortions at three Wisconsin sites, ineligible for those funds and means an annual loss of about $1 million to that organization…Harrington said the loss of the family planning money "seriously jeopardizes" the future of nine Planned Parenthood health centers in the state that do not perform abortions but provide thousands of uninsured men and women with services such as cancer screenings and breast exams.”

Associated Press

The Republican-crafted spending plan reshapes all corners of Wisconsin life, from how much Medicaid will cost to auto title loans to honoring former President Ronald Reagan to even drinking alcohol at the movies. Here’s a look at some of the ways the budget will reshape the state’s priorities and touch lives across Wisconsin:...If you’re a child of an illegal immigrant, going to college in Wisconsin is about to get much more expensive. The budget ends in-state tuition rates for children of illegal immigrants and forces them to pay out-of-state rates. Those changes will apply to anyone who enrolls for classes after Friday.

Legislative Fiscal Bureau
“Require that DHS distribute women's health funds only to public entities. Allow a public entity that receives women's health funds to provide some or all of those funds to other public or private entities, provided that the recipient of these funds does not do any of the following: (a) provide abortion services; (b) make referrals for abortion services; or (c) have an affiliate that provides abortion services or makes referrals for abortion services.”

2011 WI Act 32
On June 26, 2011, Walker signed the budget, which contained his proposal to cut $500 million from Medical Assistance programs. The proposal does not exclude any specific groups from receiving the program cuts, which means seniors and people with disabilities, who account for 20% of total Medicaid enrollment and 67% of total Medicaid spending, will likely be impacted by the cuts. At the end of January 2011, nearly 300,000 seniors and people with disabilities were enrolled in Medicaid-related programs. (2011 Assembly Bill 40, introduced 3/1/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call) (Disability Rights Wisconsin Fact Sheet) In addition, the budget contained Walker’s proposal to cut FamilyCare spending by more than $284 million over the biennium and freeze enrollment (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/20/2011). FamilyCare helps around 35,000 seniors and disabled stay independent at home and in their communities. (Disability Rights Wisconsin Fact Sheet).

2011 WI Act 32
In the 2011-13 budget, Walker signed into law cuts of $3 million in tobacco use control grants, allocated to a range of organizations for tobacco cessation activities, like the tobacco quitline and youth tobacco cessation. (2011-13 Executive Budget Comparative Summary, Department of Health Services, page 402; 2011 Assembly Bill 40, introduced 3/1/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call; 2011 WI Act 32 signed into law 6/26/2011)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Walker also is keeping in place a budget provision that would bar the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority from providing abortions, despite claims by some that it could put at risk the university's accreditation for its obstetrics and gynecology program. Walker said he did not believe the university would lose that accreditation. "I feel strongly that taxpayer dollars should not support the performance of elective abortions," he wrote.”

Wisconsin State Journal
A provision inserted in the state budget would prohibit UW Hospital and Clinics from funding abortions, but it's unclear whether that will stop the hospital from offering required abortion experience to doctors-in-training. Abortions are not performed at UW Hospital and Clinics, but obstetrics and gynecology residents train at Planned Parenthood to learn about family planning, which includes the opportunity to perform abortions. State law currently prohibits the use of public funds to pay physicians to perform abortions with few exceptions, but the new legislation specifically targets UW Hospital and Clinics. UW Hospital and Clinics is a public authority and does not receive state funding. Hospital officials argue they are not funding abortions because they are conducted off-site, at Planned Parenthood, and Meriter Hospital pays for that portion of the residents' training.

Wisconsin State Journal
Dr. Carl Getto, senior vice president for medical affairs at UW Hospital, said he doesn't know if the proposed law means they would need to stop offering abortion training. If it does, Getto said the legislation could jeopardize national accreditation for the obstetrics and gynecology training program. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires that residents have access to experience with induced abortion. Residents with religious or moral objections are allowed to opt out, although they must learn how to manage the complications of an abortion, he said. "The OB/GYN residency requires that all graduates of an accredited program have the knowledge and competence in the full range of family planning," Getto said. "That includes terminations and the complications." UW Health leaders sent a letter to Gov. Scott Walker asking him to veto the provision. They also charge that the legislation sets a dangerous precedent by establishing UW Hospital money as "funds of this state."

One Wisconsin Now

Massive attacks against health care, education and middle class priorities launched by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislative majority are the focus of a “Run Against Walker,” scheduled at the State Capitol today. The “Run Against Walker,” a run/walk for citizens organized by One Wisconsin Now as part of the “Walkerville” activities on the State Capitol Square, will accommodate both runners and walkers who are united against Walker’s attacks on the middle class.

2011 WI Act 16

Walker signed into law a bill that prevented local government's from passing paid sick leave or family medical leave laws that are more inclusive and powerful than the statewide law. The governor signed the bill into law on May 5, 2011. (2011 SB 23, introduced 2/23/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call)

The Isthmus
According to an analysis of IRS and Wisconsin Campaign Finance Information System records conducted by One Wisconsin Now, “companies which currently administer Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in Wisconsin have donated in last several years $1.3 million to the campaigns of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Governors Association, which spent $5 million to elect Walker in 2010.”

One Wisconsin Now

An analysis by One Wisconsin Now shows that companies which currently administer Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in Wisconsin have donated in last several years $1.3 million to the campaigns of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Governors Association, which spent $5 million to elect Walker in 2010. Actions by Gov. Walker which threaten SeniorCare could hand $100 million to companies administering the more costly federal Medicare Part D program in Wisconsin.

Capital Times
“Gov. Scott Walker wants to again give insurance companies discretion over whether they will cover contraception. His budget, released Tuesday, proposes the elimination of a recently passed law that requires insurance plans that cover prescription drugs to also include coverage for prescription birth control. Walker’s budget summary says the requirement is an “unacceptable government mandate on employers with moral objections to these services,” and that it “increases the cost of health insurance for all payers.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“About 55,000 people could lose their health insurance under the state's BadgerCare program, under Gov. Scott Walker's budget plan released Tuesday. Walker's budget also would shrink aid to Wisconsin Works participants and could mean reduced state child care subsidies to low-income families. In an effort to slow the growth in spending on Medicaid, Walker says he will seek permission from the federal government to tighten eligibility standards and would cut off people faster who are found no longer eligible. If the federal government does not give the state permission to toughen its standards in determining who gets Medicaid, the state would eliminate coverage to families that earn more than 133% of the federal poverty level on July 1, 2012. That threshold currently is $24,352 a year for a family of three.”

Appleton Post-Crescent
Appleton Post Crescent Editorial: Prescription for trouble / Agency would make decisions on medical assistance: Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill has another provision that can have a huge impact on people who have little voice. The provision authorizes the state Department of Health Services to make changes in medical assistance programs, such as the BadgerCare programs, Family Care and SeniorCare... But currently, changes in the program have to go through the full Legislature - starting as a bill and being passed into law. Walker wants to largely bypass the Legislature to allow for the programs to be changed by an agency… That takes power away from us, too. In turn, it gives power to Dennis Smith, the Health Services secretary. Not much more than a year ago, Smith wrote in his job as a fellow at the Heritage Foundation that states would be better off leaving Medicaid because of the health reform law.

One Wisconsin Now

Gov. Scott Walker’s scheme to allow the government to take away the rights of Wisconsin workers is part of an unbalanced and potentially unconstitutional proposal that would add at least $30 million to the state’s credit card and allow the Governor’s health agency director to slash health care access and raise costs without the approval of the legislature.

Wisconsin State Journal
“That Gov. Walker’s new secretary in charge of these programs has both advocated for states ‘dropping out’ from federal Medicaid assistance and has not made a commitment to keeping SeniorCare is enormously troubling,” said Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now.

One Wisconsin Now

MADISON, Wis. — Despite the state’s $3.3 billion deficit, Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled state legislature have added over $140 million in new special interest spending to that tab. Walker and the Republicans have refused to show the job creation this spending will create.

One Wisconsin Now

The Republican plan to give a tax break to high deductible private health savings accounts would increase the deficit $48 million in the next two years, create no jobs and would not increase access to health care. The plan is to be debated today at a joint legislative health committee.

Capital Times
The article was e-mailed to me by One Wisconsin Now, a liberal advocacy group, whose Anna Landmark responded to my observation that it will be interesting to see how Smith administers programs he’s been so critical of. “Smith won’t be administering these programs, he’s been given the job by Gov. Walker to dismantle them,” she blogged on One Wisconsin Now’s website.

Legislative Fiscal Bureau

Walker signed into law a 10% across the board cut to base funding for non-staff costs in most of the Department of Health’s programs. Some of those programs are named below. The full list can be found at the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s 2011-13 Comparative Budget Summary, Department of Health Services, page 411.

Politifact

“Barrett’s campaign, though, points to the first question on the survey: ‘Would you sign legislation that declares that a preborn child has an inalienable right to life from the moment of fertilization forward?...Did Walker know about -- and agree with -- the group’s views on birth control as causing abortion?For the 2010 election, candidates were given survey instructions and a memo entitled "Hormonal Birth Control and its Abortion Causing Effect," according to Sande. That memo clearly lays out the group’s view that "any artificial action that works to destroy a human embryo is abortifacient in nature." It lumps "most if not all birth control drugs and devices" into that category. Sande downplays the chances Pro-Life Wisconsin will succeed in its anti birth-control agenda because it believes society is not ready for it. But a birth control ban is the group’s aim. Its mechanism to get there is "personhood" legislation -- Question 1 on the candidate survey.’”

One Wisconsin Now

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker refuses to admit he would support a ban on embryonic stem cell research if elected governor, but Walker told supporters in 2005 he would have signed a bill Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed at the time that was a direct threat to embryonic stem cell research. Walker told his supporters of the ban in the November 10, 2005 “Walker Weekly,” an electronic newsletter during his failed previous bid for governor.

One Wisconsin Now

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding Rebecca Kleefisch and Scott Walker’s unseemly television ad criticizing access to affordable health care. In the ad railing against health care reform, Kleefisch talks about her successful cancer treatment, which was diagnosed, treated and financed through the access she has to health care as the spouse of an state elected official. Walker and Kleefisch are supporting a plan that would cut 400,000 working families off the state’s successful BadgerCare plan, which provides affordable health care to working adults and children whose employers don’t offer health care benefits and who can’t afford for-profit health care plans. [WISC-TV, 9/22/10; Wisconsin Department of Health Services]

One Wisconsin Now

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s ridiculous smokescreen complaint, intended to divert attention from the numerous ongoing investigations into his top county aides and other mismanagement.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Walker opposes abortion, including in instances of rape and incest. He's against a state program that uses state and federal money to provide birth control to girls as young as 15 and says government shouldn't take the place of parents on such matters. He supports allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill emergency contraception prescriptions on moral grounds.

One Wisconsin Now

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has promised an impossible $3.8 billion in tax breaks, loopholes and shifts he has no way to pay for, a new analysis by One Wisconsin Now shows. Coupled with the state’s conservative predictions of a $2.7 billion projected deficit, Walker would need to slash almost $6.5 billion from education, health care, police and fire protection to give tax breaks and loopholes to the wealthy and big business.

One Wisconsin Now

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker admitted in a newspaper story today he was unaware of a comprehensive report on the tragedies at the Milwaukee County mental health complex - but that has not stopped him from refusing to release the report to his own county auditors. Walker refused to tell the private legal counsel he hired, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to taxpayers, to release the report to Milwaukee County auditors who have requested it to complete their investigation.

One Wisconsin Now

In advance of tonight’s first debate between Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, One Wisconsin Now offered the following questions for County Executive Walker to answer about his tax cut plan for the rich and big business, his support for cutting children and working families from BadgerCare health coverage and his failed management of Milwaukee County.

One Wisconsin Now

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann have repeatedly called for Attorney General JB Van Hollen to be given the authority to intervene in a multi-state effort among Republicans to derail the federal health reform act but are silent on Van Hollen’s seeming unwillingness to represent the state in its effort to challenge a federal court ruling to block funding for life-saving stem cell research.

One Wisconsin Now

For a year, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has repeatedly and specifically called for time limits for the state’s BadgerCare health care program to provide coverage to working families. But after repeating the call for time limits during Wednesday night’s gubernatorial debate, Walker is attempting to claim he doesn’t support time limits.

One Wisconsin Now

A public interest advocacy group is calling on Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker Monday to take responsibility for his “tragic mismanagement of the county’s Mental Health Complex,” saying Walker has chosen to defend himself by hiring an outside law firm and a public relations specialist, both at taxpayer expense, instead of fixing the problem.

Pro-Life Wisconsin
Walker received the endorsement of Pro-Life Wisconsin. In 2010, the survey included the question, “Would you sign legislation that bans abortion in all cases? (Pro-Life Wisconsin supports legal protection for all preborn babies, including those conceived in rape and incest. If a physician claims that a mother’s life may be in danger, PLW opposes direct abortion and supports equal care for mother and child. Please see the enclosed memo on why a “life of the mother” exception is dangerous and unnecessary.)”

Pro-Life Wisconsin

The Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund Political Action Committee (PAC) today announced its dual endorsement of Mark Neumann and Scott Walker for Wisconsin governor....Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund supports candidates for public office who demonstrate a commitment to protect each and every innocent human life – in all circumstances and at all stages of development. To be “100% pro-life” is to know that a human life begins at fertilization and that there may never be a legal exception to an innocent child’s inalienable right to life.”

One Wisconsin Now

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker refuses to detail how he will pay for his nearly $2 billion in tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the rich and big business. But he said late last week that wage and benefit cuts for state workers are one way to close the state’s $2 billion-plus projected state deficit. In order to finance both the tax cuts and close the deficit, Walker would need to cut state worker pay and benefits by 42 percent, or slash 29,000 state jobs.

One Wisconsin Now

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s latest campaign ad is riddled with falsehoods, distortions and half-truths about his disastrous record for Milwaukee County, according to a fact check of the ad conducted by One Wisconsin Now.

One Wisconsin Now

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's pandering flip flop on the racist Arizona immigration law has One Wisconsin Now asking whether a similar strategy could get him to answer the question he has refused to answer: How will Scott Walker pay for his $2 billion tax giveaway to benefit the rich and big business? Walker flipped his position from a weekend Associated Press story after his Facebook page was riddled with criticisms by tea party types.

One Wisconsin Now

At Tuesday’s Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce lobbying luncheon Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker will likely find support from the corporate lobby for his $2-billion, budget-busting, deficit-doubling plan for tax breaks that mostly benefit corporations and the wealthiest Wisconsinites. What is less likely, is that Walker will explain which drastic cuts he would make to pay for this failed fiscal strategy, according to One Wisconsin Now.

Pro-Life Wisconsin candidate survey

As noted in articles above, Pro-Life Wisconsin requires a 100% rating to receive their endorsement. Walker won the endorsement in 2010 by answering yes to this question, among others: “1. Would you sign legislation that bans abortion in all cases? (Pro-Life Wisconsin supports legal protection for all preborn babies, including those conceived in rape and incest. If a physician claims that a mother’s life may be in danger, PLW opposes direct abortion and supports equal care for mother and child. Please see the enclosed memo on why a “life of the mother” exception is dangerous and unnecessary.)”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“After nearly 15 years helping patients discharged from Milwaukee County's Mental Health Complex cope with life in the community, occupational therapist Kari Held faces an uncertain future and coping issues of her own. Like hundreds of other county employees, Held has a job that has been targeted for elimination next year by County Executive Scott Walker. Her $53,000-a-year pay is one small part of Walker's overall plan to trim $80 million in costs to avoid a deficit next year without raising taxes. Held also is blind. She has found ways to thrive in her chosen field, but her disability could make it harder to deal with a pink slip or transfer to a different county job. ...Patient advocates say that curtailing the day treatment for patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder when they are discharged worsens their recovery chances and likely will lead to relapses and more hospitalizations. ‘This is leaving a gap in the continuum of care,’ said Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee director of Disability Rights Wisconsin. ‘It doesn't make sense from a fiscal point of view or from a perspective of human suffering.’”

One Wisconsin Now

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s recent call for limits on critical BadgerCare health benefits for low-income or displaced workers and repeated criticism of state spending raises concerns he may favor cuts to BadgerCare programs that cover children and expectant mothers.

Wisconsin State Journal

“Pharmacists could refuse to fill birth control prescriptions if doing so violates their moral or ethical beliefs under a bill before a state committee. The "conscience clause bill" (AB 168) introduced by Rep. Scott Walker, R-Wauwatosa, is aimed at the so-called "morning after" pill, which stops a pregnancy after unprotected sex, and the abortion drug RU-486. But it also would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense most other forms of birth control, since in some cases things like the pill or intrauterine device (IUD) can prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs. "No person should be forced to engage in the destruction of another person's life, no matter the stage of development," Walker said.”

2001 AB 450

Provisions of bill would have required women seeking an abortion to be told they could “anonymously and with immunity from liability relinquish custody of her newborn child to a law enforcement officer, an emergency medical technician, or a hospital staff member when the newborn child is 72 hours old or younger.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Walker’s proposal does permit state and local government employees to perform an abortion or assist in its performance to save the life of the mother, a concession that the procedure can be medically necessary. Yet, he would have medical students receiving no instruction in the subject. Which doesn’t compute. No medically necessary procedures should be declared off limits by legislators.

Capital Times
“Teaching any abortion-related topic or abortion technique in Wisconsin's medical schools would be prohibited by a measure to be added to the state budget by Assembly Republicans. The budget addition, already approved by the Assembly Republican caucus, is scheduled to be approved on an Assembly floor vote next week, but will have a hard time passing the Democrat-controlled Senate. It would bar public employees and public facilities from promoting or engaging in abortion or abortion-related activities, and make them subject to a $1,000 fine for each offense. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Scott Walker, R-Wauwatosa, also affects local, publicly owned clinics as well as school counselors and nurses who might discuss abortion with pregnant students.”

2001 AB 168
This bill expands the definition of employment discrimination based on creed to include discriminating against a health care provider on the basis of his or her refusal, based on creed, to participate in any of the following activities: 1) sterilization procedures; 2) certain procedures that prevent the implantation of a fertilized human ovum; 3) abortions; 4) experiments or medical procedures that involve the destruction of a human embryo or that involve a human embryo or unborn child but do not relate to the beneficial treatment of the human embryo or unborn child; 5) procedures using fetal tissue or organs other than fetal tissue or organs from a stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage; 6) withholding or withdrawing nutrition or hydration under certain circumstances; or 7) acts causing or assisting in the death of an individual, including assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing. There is no exception for an employer to show that the refusal poses an undue hardship.

1997 AB 953
According to the Legislative Reference Bureau analysis, the bill expanded “the definition of employment discrimination based on creed to include discriminating against a health care provider on the basis of his or her written refusal, based on creed, to participate in any of the following activities:
  1. sterilization procedures;
  2. certain procedures that prevent the implantation of a fertilized human ovum;
  3. abortions;
  4. experiments or medical procedures that involve the destruction of a human embryo or that involve a human embryo or unborn child but do not relate to the beneficial treatment of the human embryo or unborn child;
  5. procedures using fetal tissue or organs;
  6. withholding or withdrawing nutrition or hydration under certain circumstances; or
  7. acts causing or assisting in the death of an individual, including assisted suicide, euthanasia or mercy killing. There is no exception for an employer to show that the refusal poses an undue hardship.”

1997 AB 740
According to the Legislative Reference Bureau analysis, “This bill creates new prohibitions against using public employes and public property for abortion-related activity. First, the bill provides that no person employed by this state, by a state agency or by a local governmental unit may, while acting within the scope of his or her employment, provide abortion services; promote, encourage or counsel in favor of abortion services; or make abortion referrals either directly or through an intermediary in any instance other than when an abortion is directly and medically necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman.”

1997 AB 538; 1999 AB 535; 2001 AB 360
The bill “creates an immunity from a wrongful birth or wrongful life action for a person who commits an act or fails to commit an act and that act or omission results in the birth of a child because a woman did not undergo an abortion that she would have undergone had the person not committed the act or not failed to commit the act.”

1997 AB 740

The bill cut off any state funding for pro-choice groups and prohibited a state employee while acting within the scope of his or her employment from providing abortion services, promoting, encouraging or counseling in favor of abortion services or make abortion referrals either directly or through an intermediary in any instance other than when an abortion is directly and medically necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. The bill also prohibited public property from being used in connection with providing or facilitating abortions.

1995 AB 441
According to the Legislative Reference Bureau, the bill, which was signed into law, deleted requirements “for provision of information on the availability of public and private agencies to provide birth control information and on the availability of services to assist a minor in seeking consent for the abortion or in petitioning a court for a waiver of the consent requirement.” The final version of the bill specified numerous items that a physician must review with the patient 24 hours before an abortion, the Legislative Reference Bureau Analysis for which appears below.
  1. The name of the physician who will perform or induce the abortion.
  2. The probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at the time that the information is given.3. The details of the medical or surgical method that will be used in performing or inducing the abortion.
  3. That fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services are available that enable a pregnant woman to view the image or hear the heartbeat of her unborn child and how the woman may obtain these services if she desires to do so.
  4. That if, in the reasonable medical judgment of the physician, the woman's unborn child has reached viability, the physician is required to take all steps necessary under current law to preserve and maintain the life and health of the child.
  5. Any other information that a reasonable patient would consider material and relevant to a decision of whether or not to carry a child to birth or to undergo an abortion.
  6. That the woman may withdraw her consent to have an abortion at any time before the abortion is performed or induced.
  7. That the woman is not required to pay for performance or inducement of the abortion until at least 24 hours have elapsed after provision of the information.

1993 AB 1162

Walker voted against a bill expanding statewide and raising income limits for the state program that helped provide health insurance for low income and unemployed individuals in counties with the highest unemployment. (Assembly Journal)