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Author: Jon Peacock

Health care ruling from federal judge puts Wisconsin’s ACA opponents in hot seat

New polling helps explain why very few Republican lawmakers have been celebrating publicly after a federal judge issued an opinion on December 14, declaring that all of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. The latest polling results from the Kaiser Family Foundation show that many parts of the health care law enjoy very strong support among both Democrats and Republicans. If the ruling of the conservative federal judge is not overturned by higher courts, it will mean that all of the ACA has essentially been repealed without a replacement plan. That would cause turmoil in the health care...

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Wisconsin legislators follow national trend to discard democracy for one-party rule

“This isn’t a bill. This is a coup.” – Randy Bryce (a.k.a. the “Iron Stache”) The rushed enactment of bills being considered in the Wisconsin Legislature on Tuesday would leave a dark and long-lasting stain on our state’s reputation for being a home of good government, clean politics and thoughtful policymaking. Enacting the proposed bills would be the first time in Wisconsin’s 160-year history that a lame duck session was ever used to sharply reduce the power of a newly-elected Governor and a newly elected Attorney General. And it would make Wisconsin one of just a small number of...

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Critics of Obamacare in Wisconsin fail to offer alternatives for pre-existing coverage

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has become a source of worry for a number of politicians who have backed that litigation. Some of those politicians, such as Governor Scott Walker, are trying to counter one of the chief concerns about their opposition to the ACA by pledging that if a judge strikes down the federal law, they will take quick action to protect coverage of pre-existing conditions. The problem with the promises to protect or replace that part of the law is that the specific proposals that have been offered fall far short...

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The unsustainable habit of rewarding corporations that cut local jobs

Wisconsin keeps paying more to profitable corporations to subsidize manufacturing, while demanding less in return. In fact, the Governor’s proposal to subsidize Kimberly Clark jobs would pay that corporation roughly $7 million per year over the next 15 years — if they agree not to cut jobs by more than 7%. Compounding the problems, the proposed deal would allow the company to back out at any time, without giving up any of the generous subsidies it has received. Although the proponents of the proposed subsidies refer to them as “tax credits,” that is misleading because manufacturers already receive a...

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Revenue from Wisconsin’s new sales tax to disproportionately benefit wealthy residents

Just a few months from now, Wisconsin will begin collecting an additional $10 million per month from sales taxes on e-commerce, and state officials plan to use that revenue for an income tax cut that will disproportionately benefit wealthy state residents. The 2% of Wisconsinites with the highest incomes will get an estimated 21% of the planned tax cut. Rather than going ahead with a tax swap that once again tilts the tax code in favor of the wealthiest Wisconsinites, state lawmakers should examine other options, such as investing the new revenue into public schools, which have taken major...

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Wisconsin faces drastic Medicaid funding shortfall from census undercounting

Census counts are the basis for allocating more than $800 billion of federal funding each year, and in fiscal year 2015 Wisconsin received more than $9.1 billion from 16 large federal programs that distribute money based on census statistics. State and local governments have many reasons to start taking steps to ensure that the 2020 census is a complete count of their residents. Unfortunately, our state may be lagging behind many others in preparing for a complete census count. A recent report by the Georgetown University Institute of Public Policy examines how a census undercount can substantially increase the...

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