One of Scott Walkers actions within his first month in office was to issue Executive Order 10, creating the Wisconsin Office of Free Market Health Care. The new state entity was tasked with, among other things, assessing the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Wisconsin’s health insurance markets, soliciting input from a wide range of health care stakeholders, developing a plan for the design and implementation of a health benefit exchange that utilizes a free market approach, and exploring alternative approaches that would free Wisconsin from establishing a health benefit exchange.
Less than a year later Walker has issued Executive Order 57, which repeals Executive Order 10. The Wisconsin Office of Free Market Health Care is gone, apparently with none of the tasks set forth in Executive Order 10 accomplished.
An employee at the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance told me in a telephone conversation today that the Office of Free Market Health Care never had any employees, no office space, published none of what findings, if any, they may have produced, and produced no plan or alternative approach to the PPACA. When I asked what the office had accomplished over the one year of its existence I got no answer.
Curiously, only two months ago The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reported on the progress being made in Wisconsin, and it reads as though efforts were being made to move forward. How did the Kaiser Foundation people get this impression?
With his assault on Badgercare and Medicaid, the PPACA, the rejection of the 38 million dollar early innovator grant, and with the dissolution of the Office of Free Market Health Care, Walker has officially thrown Wisconsin’s families to the health insurance industry wolves. And those wolves are hungry.
Need affordable health insurance? You’re on your own, Wisconsin.
PS. My apologies to actual wolves.