Tuesday, March 26, 2019

GOP further owns wars against health care, opioid treatment

The collective cruelty that Republicans have offered as their national and Wisconsin health-care prescription is fully exposed today, and while we look at the developments below, let's cement in the record the roles in these crises played by Wisconsin GOP defeated politicians and the incumbents still holding on and doing damage.

3:00 p.m. Update - - a Dane County judge struck down the lame-duck law that transferred litigation powers power to legislature from the Governor and Attorney General. The ruling:
...halted enforcement of a key provision of one of the laws that gave lawmakers, instead of the governor, final say on whether the state attorney general ends or settles the state’s involvement in a lawsuit. His ruling also suspended a measure that allowed a legislative committee to effectively block administrative rules advanced by the governor from taking effect.
Today's key development:

* The Trump 'Justice' Department has moved in Federal Court to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

That move could hasten the loss of health care coverage to more than 20 million Americans, including children and adults with pre-existing conditions they inherited, like diabetes, Parkinson's, MS and other life-altering diseases.

Remember that at the direction of former Gov. Walker, Wisconsin joined a lawsuit organized by Republican-led states' attorneys-general to kill Obamacare.
...Walker gave J.B. Van Hollen, the Wisconsin GOP Attorney General at the time, authorization to join the lawsuit which was 'won' today immediately after Walker took the oath of office in January 2011. 
I'd noted this scenario recently when writing about Walker's deceptive tweeting about how he was pledged to insure Wisconsin residents' pre-existing medical conditions - - a central element in Obamacare which Walker has just helped further undermine, and perhaps kill with no alternatives in sight:
...as Walker dropped out of the 2015 presidential race after bashing Obamacare for months, he'd bragged that he was the Anti-Obamacare Governor from his first moments in office. "Literally."
Walker and other Republicans have been battling the Affordable Care Act since its inception. In Tuesday's speech, he said that "literally moments" after taking his oath of office when he became governor, he turned to Wisconsin's then-attorney general and authorized him to join a lawsuit challenging Obamacare. 
* Brad Schimel, now also defeated, bragged about his role in the lawsuit.
Wisconsin GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel is lauding his litigation against Obamacare:
Texas and Wisconsin, joined by 20 states, filed a lawsuit in federal court earlier this month asking the federal courts to obey what the Supreme Court has already recognized and hold all of Obamacare unconstitutional...
We bring this challenge to Obamacare because, as state attorneys general, we took an oath of office to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights of Americans from the unconstitutional, ever-expanding intrusion of the federal government.
Remember that Obamacare helps fund Medicaid so this latest Schimel ploy if successful could make it harder for opioid addicts covered by Medicaid to receive expanded treatment - - as The [Federal] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently explained in plain English.
While Wisconsin on Schimel's watch had the largest uptick in opioid-related emergency room admissions in one, 16-state survey. 
So while Schimel is praising himself for litigating against Obamacare - - and suing over Obama-era actions is a major, state-subsidized Schimel behavior - - he's also declined to litigate against the opioid manufacturers who have helped flood the state and nation with addicting pills.
* And in their lame-duck power grab coordinated in secret planning with Walker, Wisconsin GOP legislative leaders barred Democratic Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Paul from getting Wisconsin withdrawn from the unspeakably brutal litigation.

How to bring about that withdrawal in the face of the lame-duck session restrictions is not yet clear.

However, one lawsuit filed against the legality of the lame-duck session has already won at the District Court level and will eventually be decided by the Wisconsin State Supreme Court.
Purdue Pharma and Sacklers Reach $275 Million Settlement in Opioid Lawsuit
The Oklahoma attorney general will announce details Tuesday afternoon. A trial of other opioid manufacturers is still scheduled to proceed.
A separate lawsuit raising related issues may be decided as early as today.
And, again, while remembering that Obamacare provides funding to treat opioid addiction, states sued opioid manufacturers continue to win judgments as high as $275 million which will provide much needed treatment.

* Schimel refused to similarly litigate on behalf of Wisconsin, leaving counties and their taxpayers to file separate claims, but there may be no coordinated, statewide effort to effectively target treatment dollars until Attorney General Kaul and Gov. Evers can move in that direction:
How crazy is it that dozens of Wisconsin counties are separately filing lawsuits or teaming up with others while state corporate bellhops like Schimel and fellow Republican-and-electioneering Scott Walker won't use their powerful and effective legal tools to fight the opioid nightmare at its well-heeled, anything-for-profits source?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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