Andy Gronik believes healthcare is a right, and the solution to healthcare for all is best addressed at the federal level. He thinks it’s wrong for there to be one class of people who have the coverage needed to receive medical assistance if they get sick and a second class of people who could lose their life or life savings. Andy and his family are on ObamaCare and join millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Wisconsinites in being at risk of losing their health insurance as a result of the actions of a Republican-led Congress and Governor Walker’s efforts to destabilize the program.
Andy was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in his early 20’s – a condition that is now in complete remission. While young people believe they are invincible, Andy knows all too well what it’s like to begin throwing up blood in his teens; to be hospitalized in his 20’s when his digestive system shut down; spend 9+ hours in surgery, 3+ weeks hospitalized and amass bills well in excess of $100,000 dollars. This is one of many reasons why Andy knows that any healthcare system like Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that everyone pay into the system. We couldn’t imagine insuring only bad drivers, so why would we contemplate that only unhealthy people buy health insurance.
Andy’s known for decades how it feels to be forced to list a pre-existing condition on insurance forms and he knows the impact that Governor Walker’s desire to repeal ACA would mean to Wisconsin families. He spent his professional lifetime working with businesses advocating for continuous improvement of all kinds and believes that ACA, like everything else, needs to be improved. But, Andy doesn’t believe you take a bulldozer to a program insuring over 30 million Americans when a shovel will do.
Governor Walker’s “Wreck-It Ralph” mentality toward the ACA is (indeed) reckless, creating circumstances with dire consequences to Wisconsinites statewide. Women, men and children without access to health care would create catastrophic events and escalate the cost of health care overall. Whether recognized or not, someone always pays for the uninsured.
If the actions of Republicans in Congress have the effect of pushing the healthcare crisis to the states, Andy will seek the most innovative solutions to provide all Wisconsinites with the best and most comprehensive healthcare. In so doing, Andy also believes healthcare solutions instituted by Wisconsin must work for both patients and healthcare system and bring compensation rates to levels that are affordable for the state and manageable for providers.
As your governor, Andy Gronik will:
- Immediately accept Medicaid expansion up to 138% of the federal poverty line;
- Explore the feasibility of expanding access to BadgerCare as an option to providing low-cost, high quality medical, vision, and dental insurance to all residents;
- Examine the feasibility of a state-run system that manages the lifetime risk pool of Wisconsin residents to create a system where providers compete for services on the basis of quality, patient outcomes, and price. This would increase buying power keeping the cost of coverage low while promoting high-quality services;
- Convene an advisory board of healthcare professionals made up of patients, nurses, doctors, hospital and clinic administrators, medical device and equipment manufacturers, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies, insurance agents and carriers, and others to begin a constructive dialog with the entire health care delivery system to identify the very best health care solutions for the people of Wisconsin;
- Eliminate all gaps in the coverage of women’s reproductive health;
- Advocate for paid family leave to promote recovery from a serious health issue, care for a seriously ill family member and/or bond with a newborn or newly adopted child;
- Expand mental health screening and treatment;
- Increase the number of primary care providers;
- Expand the role of Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants and fill the pipeline with people going into these fields by creating incentives at medical and nursing schools and creating public private partnerships to defray the cost;
- Advocate a team approach to collaborative healthcare involving doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, etc.;
- Promote education around healthy lifestyles including diet, exercise, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc.;
- Staff public schools with nurses empowered to lead the new BadgerHealth Bridge initiatives that promote healthy learning and provide early detection of health risks of family members;
- Expand access to clinics that triage patients’ needs and offer preventative care and advance more complicated cases to hospitals;
- Innovate the role of telemedicine, Internet-enabled diagnostic technologies and concierge medicine to deliver personalized healthcare remotely;
- Seek to stabilize rural hospitals at risk of closing their doors as a direct result of the destabilization of ACA;
- Support legislation that penalizes pharmaceutical companies for price-gouging;
- Support healthcare workers “Fight for $15” and healthcare benefits for themselves;
- Fund research at our universities so we can work towards finding the cures to diseases and see more startups of Wisconsin businesses that create good-paying jobs for our residents;
- Declare a public health emergency to tackle the opioid and heroin epidemic and fund the substance abuse treatment programs needed to save lives throughout our state;
- Lead the country in taking action against drug companies on behalf of the taxpayers of Wisconsin and seek full recovery of all direct and indirect damages sustained as a result of the reckless distribution of opioids for pain treatment by drug companies;
- Promote stricter laws regulating the prescription and disbursement of opioids;
- Require insurance companies to immediately furnish their insureds with simple to understand terms of coverage and clearly identify the health conditions specifically excluded by the policy;
- Facilitate an expedited and affordable process by which insureds may report, prosecute, and receive restitution for abuses of insurance companies refusing health coverage including the recovery of all costs of the related litigation.