Federal officials joined House Democrat Ron Kind in Eau Claire and Stevens Point yesterday to answer people's questions about Obama-care.
Around a half-million Wisconsinites will be required to enroll for private coverage through the government's purchasing exchanges starting next month. Kind says over 90-percent of us won't have to do a thing. He says coverage won't change for those on employer-funded plans, Medicare, or the veterans' V-A system. Those using the exchanges will be the uninsured, workers without access to employer coverage, and 93-thousand Wisconsin Badger-Care recipients above the poverty line. Kind says he's still upset with Governor Scott Walker's decision not to take millions in federal money to expand Medicaid. The Republican Walker said the state could be left holding the bag once federal Medicaid money dries up -- and he said his plan encourages the poor to live more independently. Employers got a one-year reprieve from their requirement to either offer health insurance, or pay a fine for not doing so. Kind says they'll get help from the federal Shop program in offering that coverage. For now, companies must send letters to their workers by the end of the month stating whether they will or won't offer insurance next year. As for getting onto the exchanges, Healthcare-Dot-Gov has information -- and so do the I-R-S and Small Business Administration Web sites.