Citizen Action of Wisconsin

Several Northwoods counties are among those hosting an advisory question on next month's ballot about whether the state should accept federal money to help pay for Badgercare.

The Walker administration has not accepted the money saying with the federal budget deficit, the money could be taken away leaving the state to pick up the costs.

A progressive-leaning group says Wisconsin's health insurance rates are much higher than Minnesota's. A state spokesperson says the group is not comparing apples to apples and the report is politically-motivated.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin says they've looked at Wisconsin's health insurance rates under the Affordable Health Care Act and found a large difference in costs between the two states. At the heart of the issue is the rejection of federal funds under Obamacare by Wisconsin to help fund health care for low income people.

A report shows the lack of extra federal funding in Medicaid and other factors have lead to what one progressive-leaning group says are higher health coverage costs  for Wisconsin small businesses compared to Minnesota.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Executive Director Robert Kraig gives Rhinelander as an example..

" in Rhinelander it is literally 28% higher than it is in Minneapolis...we think that has a lot to do with how both states are approaching the Affordable Care Act...."

A report by the Democratic-leaning Citizen Action of Wisconsin challenges Governor Scott Walker's refusal to accept federal Medicaid money for BadgerCare has resulted in higher health insurance costs here than elsewhere.

During a media call with reporters this week, Citizen Action Director Robert Kraig said with increased transparency from Obamacare, they were able to gather data  on what other states are paying versus here. He says three conclusions came out of the data..

The heroin and opioid  addiction problems troubling many Wisconsin communities, including those here in the Northwoods,  has caught the attention of one health advocacy group.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is launching an initiative to increase access to effecting drug screening and intervention services for youth.

Citizen Action's Kevin Kane says they're looking at early intervention to stop greater, and more costly, problems later....

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is claiming the state's public-private job generating agency...Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.. is funneling jobs to places in Republican districts and mostly ignoring Democratic districts. A WEDC spokesperson says that is not true.

Citizen Action has been described as leaning Democratic. On the Citizen Action website, their analysis claims fewer jobs were generated in the city of Milwaukee, but the state found jobs in the more Republican suburban areas. Citizen Action of Wisconsin leader Robert Kraig...

Friday, President Obama met with business leaders to discuss hiring the long-term unemployed.

Dr. Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin says the nation still has the highest rate of long term unemployed since the Great Depression...


Rhinelander health care premiums are falling somewhere in the middle as compared to the rest of the state.  That’s according to a new report from progressive group Citizen Action of Wisconsin.  It compares health insurance rates in different regions statewide.

It finds Madison tends to rank lowest, while the highest premiums are found in the Milwaukee area and in far Northwestern Wisconsin. 

As the debate continues in Washington, D.C. over the  implementation  of the Affordable Care Act, the law begins in full on January 1.  In mid-October, Kevin Kane from the group Citizen Action Wisconsin gave a presentation at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church in Rhinelander on how the ACA will work. He discussed how people can sign up, who it affects and costs.

The program will be broadcast Sunday, November 3 at 4:06 p.m. after a short NPR newscast. All Things Considered will not be heard this Sunday only.


Wednesday, the group Citizen Action of Wisconsin released a report saying Minnesota residents are paying far less in premiums under the Affordable Care Act. Rhinelander and Wausau are two cities the report compared to Minnesota communities.

Citizen Action's Robert Kraig told the media during a conference call his group could find two reasons why the higher rates are being offered....


Kevin Kane

He said a many Americans had either been locked out of getting healthcare because of pre-existing conditions, or had to pay higher rates. He says women paid more because of pregnancy and other issues, but starting January 1, not anymore...


"....women on average are charged about one-and-a-half times more, on average, than a 22 year old male. Women are more responsible than men. You go to the doctor more, you get checkups more, you tend to get pregnant more, but that's a whole other issue..."

Daniel Oines

Northwoods residents looking to buy health insurance will have options when it comes to choosing a plan on the health marketplace.  That’s according to a report from progressive advocacy group Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

20 counties, including Oneida and Lincoln, have asked Governor Walker to allow them to access Medicaid money from the federal government to offset local health care expenses.

Earlier this year, Governor Walker notified the Obama Administration he would not be taking money for Wisconsin's version called BadgerCare from the Affordable Health Care Act to offset those costs.