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Green Bay Legislators Comment on OCI and the Aetna Humana Merger PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 09:17

humanainc-gbGov. Walker's Insurance Commission approved the merger of health insurance giants Humana and Aetna in a deal that could cost Northeast Wisconsin more than 3,100 jobs and did nothing to protect health care consumers. Sen. Hansen and Rep. Genrich tried to either block the merger or set conditions to protect consumers and workers.

GREEN BAY - Late last week Governor Walker’s Commission of Insurance, Ted Nickel, approved the merger of health insurance giants Humana and Aetna without any significant conditions. The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) made no public announcement of the decision.

Humana currently employees over 3,000 people in Green Bay and 3,700 workers statewide.

OCI could have required the combined company not to outsource the Humana jobs. Instead, OCI simply requires notification of jobs cuts for three years, without any public recourse if the jobs are eliminated. OCI also could have put in safeguards against large health insurance rate increases, but choose to do nothing to protect health care consumers.

OCI has broad authority under Wisconsin law it could have used to either block the merger or set conditions to protect the interest of consumers and workers. Senator Dave Hansen and Representative Eric Genrich asked OCI to require that there be no net job reductions as a result of the merger.

Instead, the Walker Administration did nothing to safeguard Wisconsin jobs or protect health care consumers in return for allowing this mega health insurance merger to go forward. The deal will allow big insurance companies to further rig the health care system against health consumers and workers.

dave-hansenIn a joint statement issued this morning, Senator Hansen and Representative Genrich said of the merger deal:

“It is deeply disappointing that, when given the opportunity to protect more than 3,100 jobs in Northeast Wisconsin, Governor Walker and his Insurance Commissioner chose to do nothing.

“It is a rare to have the opportunity to intervene in a merger of this size with such great potential to positively impact our workforce and Wisconsin consumers. Sadly, thanks to the inaction on the part of the Governor and his administration, any opportunity to build in these important protections has been lost.

“Given Humana’s proven commitment to our area and state we remain hopeful. However, at a time when Wisconsin still continues to struggle to create jobs, we cannot be anything but disappointed by this administration’s demonstrated lack of concern for both workers and consumers.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 09:57
Republican Tax Giveaways Force UW Budget Cuts PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 13:46

uw-mdsn-studentsMADISON - On the heels of Tax Day, we are reminded that Governor Scott Walker slashed $250 million from the University of Wisconsin’s budget in order pay for the millions in tax breaks he has given to special interests and greedy out of state corporations. Instead of prioritizing the needs of Wisconsin’s students and building on what was the gold standard of public higher education, Walker has gutted the UW-System to pay for tax giveaways to the richest of the rich.

“Scott Walker has slashed the UW-System’s budget to ribbons while giving millions in tax breaks to his special interest and out of state corporate buddies,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Kory Kozloski said on Tuesday. “He is placing the unfair burden of $250 million in budget cuts on the backs of students who are only trying to better themselves with a higher education.”

While Democrats look for solutions to revitalize the UW-System, Republican’s refuse to acknowledge the devastating impacts of their $250 million funding cuts from the UW-System, going so far to cancel meetings that describe the consequences of these cuts. The summaries specify a mix of service reductions and job cuts due to bought out employees, not renewing contracts, lay offs, and closing vacant positions.

UW-Green BayUWM, and UW-Madison have all reported on the negative impacts Walker’s budget cuts are having on their ability to provide a quality education to their students.  This includes cuts to staff, reduced number of classes and services for students, and top professors are leaving the UW-System because of a lack of tenure and resources.

“The UW-System used to be the gold standard of public higher education. If Walker keeps paying for his campaign donors’ tax breaks with budget cuts to the UW system, our higher public education system is going to fall even further behind,” Kozloski said

This is exactly why we need Democrats in office, who unlike the Republicans, have plan a plan that prioritizes our children's future by investing in public higher education. If we ant to build a stronger Wisconsin, we must strengthen and improve the UW-System.

Walker Administration Rubber Stamps Humana, Aetna Merger PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig   
Monday, 18 April 2016 16:49

humanaDeal with Big Health Insurance could result in outsourcing of over 3,000 Wisconsin jobs and higher health insurance rates.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 April 2016 17:12
Referenda Sustain Schools During Time of State Budget Cuts PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Monday, 18 April 2016 15:59

studentsIn the past, schools used referenda primarily for building and maintenance projects, but state cuts to school funding are forcing more school districts to use them to pass the cost of educational programs to local property tax payers.

Public Overwhelmingly Opposed To Great Lakes Diversion Proposal PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Abby Kuranz, WiscCIC   
Friday, 15 April 2016 13:31

lake-michigan-shore99% of more than 11,200 comments indicate opposition or serious concern regarding City of Waukesha's proposed Great Lakes water diversion.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2016 14:01
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