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As I See It

Lack of Plan B threatens Wisconsinite’s health coverage



Successful politicians have a plan. A plan A and a plan B. But when it comes to the fight over Obamacare, it appears Wisconsin has no Plan B. The United States Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling soon, perhaps this week, in a case that could determine the future of the Affordable Care Act. The case King V. Burwell questions whether states that use the federal health insurance marketplace are eligible for federal subsidies to purchase health insurance, or whether that financial assistance can only go to people in states who run their own health insurance exchanges. If the court rules that states such as Wisconsin which do not operate their own health insurance exchanges are not eligible for federal subsidies, 184,000 people in the state could lose their subsidies. If Wisconsin had created its own health insurance marketplace, there would be no threat to health coverage. Those currently enrolled in the Affordable Care Act would see their insurance premiums increase by as much as 300% if the court rules against the federal subsidies for states like Wisconsin. If that happens, many are likely to drop their health insurance coverage, which would send insurance premiums higher for everyone, and destabilize the entire Affordable Care Act. Our lawmakers so far have been unwilling to come up with a plan should the court rule against Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s only answer has been that the states didn’t create this problem, the federal government did, and they should be the one to fix it. Maybe so. But our lawmakers have a responsibility to protect our citizens from a foreseeable disaster such as this, and so far they refuse to take responsibility.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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