Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Republic: Unions Aren't Walker's Only Target

New Republic: Unions Aren't Walker's Only Target : NPR

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's budget proposal has gotten a lot of attention for what it would do to the state's public employee unions. And rightly so. If Walker gets his way, state workers will lose virtually all power to negotiate over compensation and the unions themselves will become far weaker. As Greg Sargent noted on Monday, a Walker victory would likely embolden Republican governors in other states, many of whom are planning their own assaults on public employees.

But that's not all Walker's budget proposal would do. It appears that Walker also wants to weaken the state's Medicaid program, known as Badgercare. And his proposed method for accomplishing this is eerily similar to his proposed method for emasculating the public employee unions. Rather than simply trying to reduce what the state government spends on Badgercare, Walker proposes to change the way the state government operates it, in a way that would allow him to change the program with virtually no legislative oversight.

You can read the full story in the progressive publication Cap Times. (One of its writers, Shawn Doherty, seems to be one of the very few people to have taken notice.) But here's the short and slightly simplified version, as best as I can determine based on media accounts and conversations with advocates in the state:....

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