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Walker administration nears release of healthcare exchange rate, plan informationSubmitted: 08/30/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


WISCONSIN - Fewer than five weeks remain before sign-ups begin for the new online health insurance marketplaces in Wisconsin.

But Governor Scott Walker's administration has yet to release details on what plans and rates people can choose from.

The online sign-ups will start October 1.

The Affordable Care Act requires the healthcare exchanges to take effect in January.

States like Ohio and Florida have already made rate information publically available.

On Monday, Governor Walker said more details would be released within a week.

"Politically, I still have questions about Obamacare. In the end, it's the law, and we're going to make sure that people have as much access to information as they need," he said.

Governor Walker has consistently opposed the Affordable Care Act and its implementation.

But one of Wisconsin's U.S. Senators continues to strongly support the legislation.

"I think it's really high time that people of all political stripes put politics aside and instead focus on the progress we need to make together to make this work," said Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

The state-by-state marketplaces are designed to transform the way individuals and small businesses buy private health insurance.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/27/2016

- The highways will be busy this weekend with people traveling for Memorial Day.  We'll tell you what to expect if you're heading out on the roads.

- Plus, turtles start laying their eggs this time of year, and based on where they like to do so, it's a dangerous time for the reptiles.  We'll tell you why tonight.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WAUSAU - During a national push to prescribe fewer painkillers, a new Wisconsin proposal appeared that it would let chiropractors prescribe prescription drugsâ€"including painkillers.

After speaking with one of the bill's authors, that notion is not at all true. 

John Murray, the executive director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, which supports the bill, said it was never the bill's intention to include narcotics, or any drugs not related to neuro-muscular skeletal healing. The bill is in its early stages, having had a co-sponsor hearing on Tuesday, and future drafts of the bill will not have that broad language. 

"It is the position of the WCA that going forward that was never the intention and that's not the intention going forward to have opioids and highly addictive schedules to be part of this," Murray said. 

What the bill is meant for, he said, is to allow chiropractorsâ€"with 60 credit hours of additional education and hours of clinical trainingâ€"to be able to prescribe non-narcotic pain medication, such as muscle relaxants or steroids. This they could do instead of referring their patients out to a medical doctor for such prescriptions, as all chiropractors do now. He said this would make it more convenient for the patient and better that they see the same doctor for a medication instead of two. 

"It's not that we think referring out to other providers is a bad thing," Murray said. "But there are situations in which a patient comes in and has something that a chiropractor with proper training could treat in the short term with some pharmaceutical intervention."

Not all chiropractors agree with this bill despite its clarifications. 

Dr. Scott Bautch, D.C., of Bautch Chiropractic in Wausau, wants to stay true to being "the non-drug option" to health care. 

He would rather continue referring his patients out to medical doctors.  He presented on behalf of the Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin, which does not support the bill, at the bill's hearing in Madison on Tuesday. 

"I'm going to counsel people on what they eat, I'm going to counsel people on how they move, I'm going to counsel people on what they think," Bautch said. "But if we need to have help with something your body can't heal, I'll refer you out. In my 33 years plus of practice, I've not had a problem. And if I've had to send a patient out because the pain was so unretractable, it's not been a difficult situation at all. If I call them that day, I've had patients that we call, and they get them in in an hour."

Murray says it's up to each chiropractor in the state to decide how they want to practice.

"We have great respect for chiropractors who want to work that way," Murray said. "But there are chiropractors in the state who want to have those extra clinical tools and practice that way. It's about freedom of practice."

The bill still has a few legislative steps before, and if, it becomes law.


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MADISON - A federal trial to help decide whether Wisconsin Assembly district boundaries Republicans redrew five years discriminate against Democrats is set to wrap up.

A group of voters who support Democrats sued last year alleging new districts Republican lawmakers created in 2011 marginalize Democrats and consolidate GOP power.

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MADISON - A new report says Wisconsin's job creation agency has erroneously awarded more than $412,000 in tax credits to companies over how many jobs they created.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the detail came out in a review by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The agency first revealed the tax credit issue at a board meeting last month, but Thursday's report was the first time the size of the problem was detailed.

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MERRILL - Wisconsin will now be the 11th state to join a lawsuit against the federal government over new bathroom rules for transgender students.

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PRENTICE/OGEMA - Prentice High School senior Aubrey Edinger likes making art with all different kinds of materials. She makes pottery, oil paintings, acrylic paintings, and drawings, among other works.

But it was a sculpture with polymer clay that earned her all-conference recognition in a recent Northwoods art show. Her "Fight Scene" piece was selected as one of the best in the Marawood Conference.

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HILES - Community members got together to celebrate some students' hard work Thursday afternoon. Students from Crandon High School built a visitors' kiosk in Hiles.

There was a ribbon cutting Thursday to announce that the kiosk is officially open. About 15 students built the kiosk.

It features community events, trail maps, and more for everyone to use.

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