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"No Strings" Campaign Continues to Target Wisconsin's Early Innovator Grant
Written by Kirsten   
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 05:33

Last week we brought to your attention a brief video that appeared on YouTube. It proposed a simple but creative way to drive home to Governor Walker and Wisconsin state legislators the need to sever the Early Innovator Grant (EIG) that the state accepted in February 2011. We encouraged you, our readers, to get on board and do what the video suggested. 

Two more "No Strings" videos have now appeared, identifying further problems with keeping the EIG moneys. We know from the third video that there's at least one more string coming. So, "No Strings" turns out to be a bona fide campaign. A worthy one at that. Take a look...


Where the Situation Currently Stands

Just before Christmas, Governor Walker quietly announced that he would suspend work on Wisconsin's Obamacare-compliant health insurance exchange until the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on our lawsuit. In point of fact, Wisconsin needs to be seen as non-compliant by the time the Supreme Court hears arguments in MarchNot after. Otherwise this state will continue to compromise its credibility on the  question of constitutionality and undermine the overall integrity of the 26-state case, particularly on the severability issue. the clock is ticking. 

Furthermore, in maintaining the grant agreement, we're also sending the wrong message to Congress. Congress is less likely to repeal legislation with which states are willing to comply. It's also less likely to repeal legislation for which there are real constituencies. If Wisconsin's exchange goes live, we will be subsidizing costs for families that make up to $89 thousand annually. Believe you me: Constituencies will develop in a big hurry.

Unfortunately, behind the scenes, well-placed sources are telling us that despite outward suspension of work on the exchange, there are indications behind the scenes that work continues (to be discussed in a future article). In addition, well-placed sources at the Capitol inform us that the governor has indicated that he has no intention of severing the EIG agreement, a response that indicates he's still intent on building the exchange. 

Even Governor Sam Brownback, who was reportedly strongly resistant to returning the EIG that Kansas received last year ultimately had to send it back because of the "strings attached." 

Wisconsinites need to apply every ounce of pressure they can to get the Walker administration and Republican legislators to reverse course on this issue.

Where the Wisconsin 9/12 Project Stands

The leadership of the Wisconsin 9/12 Project has great respect for much of what Governor Walker has done since his term began in January 2011. In fact, we stand unwaveringly with him on Act 10, the improvement of Wisconsin's business climate, and several other measures and initiatives. 

However, we remain deeply concerned by the governor's failure to sever the EIG agreement. If the Governor puts Wisconsin on solid economic and budgetary footing only to forfeit states' rights and personal freedoms through Obamacare compliance, he will ultimately have done us no good at all. Moreover, from a purely fiscal standpoint, he will undermine all of the laudable work he's achieved to date. Obamacare, by anyone's projections will bury Wisconsin in debt.

Regrettably, Obamacare compliance is precisely the road we are currently on. A host of open records requests we've submitted now prove that point beyond a shadow of a doubt. 

The bottom line: Governor Walker and every Republican state legislator currently holding office swore an oath to protect the constitutional rights of the State of Wisconsin and its citizens. They didn't swear to protect those rights and freedoms only when it's convenient. They don't get a pass for special circumstances like recall elections. If they weren't willing to do the hard work of safeguarding constitutional rights on every issue, every minute of every day that they hold office, then they shouldn't have sought election in the first place. It is time to hold Republican leadership accountable on Obamacare compliance and ensure that they put a stop to it...immediately. 

Why the Office of Free Market Health Care Should Be Eliminated

By the way...

We noticed that Strings Document #3 advocates elimination of the Office of Free Market Health Care (OFMHC). That's a great action point to address. Here's a little background on why...

The day Governor Walker was sworn in, he gave Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen the green light to join a multi-state lawsuit challenging Obamacare's constitutionality. Van Hollen did precisely that, and our state is now a party to that legal challenge.

However, within a month of granting that permission, Governor Walker made two decisions that quietly contradicted and compromised his public stance against Obamacare. We're still trying to figure out why. (We're still hoping he's just badly informed, but the longer this situation drags on, the more implausible that explanation becomes.)

First, on January 27th, the governor issued Executive Order #10, officially creating the OFMHC. Few Wisconsinites noticed. Even if they had, it all sounded legitimate. Anything with the words "free market" in the title must be o.k., right...? Never mind that public/private partnerships aren't free market. They're corporatism, aka crony capitalism. In fact, OFMHC's name sounds suspiciously like it came straight out of the Left's "Magical Vocabulary Transformation Playbook."

Second, in mid-February, just a couple of short weeks after creating the OFMHC, Governor Walker accepted the $38 million EIG ($49 million if you count the Medicaid integration moneys, and apparently the Governor's Office did). Governor Doyle's administration applied for the funds, but his successor welcomed them without qualm.

In comparing the EIG application guidelines to the purposes of the OFMHC, as stated in Executive Order #10, it becomes relatively clear that the OFMHC was created to facilitate the stakeholdering and implementation of...the same Obamacare-compliant insurance exchange that the EIG funds were provided to build. That means that the OFMHC was created--again, wittingly or unwittingly--as part of the Obamacare compliance process.

Strings Document #3 is right: The OFMHC should be terminated, right along with the EIG agreement. 

What You Can Do

Get on board with the "No Strings" campaign. Watch the videos. Send every single letter recommended, with actual string tucked inside, to make the issue clear. Share the videos with every likeminded person you have the ability to reach--whether via email, Facebook, Twitter, or some other means. Too many Wisconsinites still don't know the risk under which their freedoms have been placed.  We need every conservative and libertarian awake and active on this issue.

This campaign is an exceptional opportunity to help the governor and state legislators grasp the incredible seriousness of the situation in which the EIG places Wisconsin and its citizens...before it's too late.

If what unfolded (and continues to unfold) in Kansas is any indication, the battle for Wisconsin's state sovereignty and our individual healthcare freedoms is not going to be won without a serious fight. Don't let up on the pressure. And in the words of Winston Churchill, "Never give in."