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Send Strings: Make the Dangers of the Early Innovator Grant Clear
Written by Kirsten   
Monday, 09 January 2012 00:01

Last month, I wrote about the claim of Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) that the Early Innovator Grant (EIG) Governor Walker accepted on behalf of the State of Wisconsin in February 2011 came with no strings attached.  Those who've been following this issue already know that the EIG has strings o'plenty.

First and foremost, acceptance of EIG funds obligates recipient states to plan and implement an Obamacare-compliant health insurance exchange. That means Wisconsin has been in the process of implementing and complying with Obamacare for at least the past year. As noted in previous articles on this site, we've seen the evidence.  Wisconsin's Obamacare compliant exchange is definitely well underway...much further than most people realize.  If we don't do something about it soon, it will indeed be too late.

Someone has taken this reality to heart and raised the matter to a creative new level.

We're delighted.

Remember back when the Tea Party got its start--how many people put tea bags into envelopes and sent them to elected officials?  That concrete message, particularly in its sheer volume, was a powerful message. Everyone in Washington and in State Capitols around the country now knows that, while you may not like the Tea Party movement, it's out there, and can't be ignored.

The video below chooses a similar method for clearly messaging the EIG situation to legislators and the governor. And let's face it: It's about time legislators were pulled fully into this matter.  We need them to be aware and engaged.

The document for download that the video references can be accessed here. They've also provided an instruction sheet in their description information, so we're providing that for you, too. We've talked about the EIG application guidelines that the video references. Those can be accessed here, just in case anyone wants to verify the claims made about the particular string the video highlights.



Can't wait to see what "Strings #2" contains, since there's really very little time to lose at this point. The EIG agreement must be formally severed, and it must be done by the time the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Wisconsin's lawsuit in March. 

Just before Christmas, the governor announced that he would suspend work on Wisconsin's exchange until after the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled on Obamacare's constitutionality, likely sometime in July. Again, Wisconsin is a party to that legal challenge. In suspending work, Governor Walker has finally begun to acknowledge that the exchange does place Wisconsin's credibility and the overall integrity of that court case at risk. That's a great first step, for which we applaud the governor.

That said, suspending work simply isn't enough.


First, suspension only results in further mixed signals to the court about Wisconsin's intention to comply with Obamacare and the degree to which we believe the law is unconstitutional. Suspension until a ruling has been made necessarily implies that work could well RESUME post-ruling. Only a solid refusal to comply any further would send a clear message to the courts that Wisconsin takes the constitutionality issue seriously and intends to do everything in its power to resist federal overreach. It's the only way to look like we're truly keen to protect states' rights under the 10th Amendment and the individual rights of our citizens to make their own decisions. That is what the courts need to see in order not to risk damaging the court case.  Only a severance of the grant relationship BEFORE the Supreme Court hears arguments in March will achieve that end.

Second, suspension sends mixed signals to Congress, which is equally dangerous. Congress is less likely to repeal Obamacare in full if the states don't seem to find it all that objectionable and/or if it has created a dependent constituency. In accepting the Early Innovator Grant and engaging in the planning and establishment of an Obamacare-compliant exchange over the past year, Wisconsin has ABSOLUTELY been sending a signal not just to the Supreme Court but to Congress that most of Obamacare isn't so bad and that we'd be willing to live with it. Further, if we don't sever the grant relationship and cease work on the exchange permanently, if work on the exchange does resume after the Supreme Court rules--and we're getting disturbing indications from insiders that it would--then once this exchange is operational, there will indeed be a dependent constituency. The exchange is another entitlement program. Taxpayer dollars will subsidize health care coverage for a lot of people in this state. Good luck getting Congress to abolish it once the entitlement dollars have started to roll.

Again, suspension is not enough. Severing the grant relationship at the earliest opportunity is the only way forward. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes.

We need to get that message through to our elected officials at the State Capitol, who can set those wheels in motion.  I would therefore STRONGLY urge you to run with the ball this video is tossing out. This is a serious matter, but we can have a bit of fun in our activism around it.  

Take a moment to print off three copies of the document the video references, clip a few strings, address three envelopes, and put the letters in the mail to your state legislators and the governor. I've already put my three envelopes in the mailbox.

Remember: A few minutes is worth it when your healthcare freedoms are at stake.



#3 STACY 2012-01-12 14:12
Forgot to mention, I do say, that your writing is not only catchy, as well, but impeccable, my Friend. The beauty of the flow of your words almost distracts me from the subject. Especially because I can so totally hear your voice and see your animated mannerisms in your writing. You are simply a gem, and a blessing.
#2 Kirsten Lombard 2012-01-12 13:58
Isn't it catchy? Have you seen the second one? I'm going to do a post about it here tomorrow, but I have been linking to it directly from Facebook. The second one is also very, very catchy.

Another friend of mine said the same thing. The first time she viewed it, she was laughing so hard about the song, she couldn't absorb the text, so she went back and watched a second time with the sound muted. Whatever works, right? LOL!
#1 STACY 2012-01-10 09:18
I love the video.

But I had to keep rewinding because I was so enjoying the song, that I was challenged to absorb the written message.


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