Citizen Action Does Not Speak for the Wisconsin Counties Association

MacIver News Service | September 24, 2013

[Madison, Wisc…] After Citizen Action of Wisconsin claimed the Counties Association passed a resolution urging the state to accept Obamacare funds, the Counties Association fired back, “We do not rely on other organizations to characterize our positions for us.”

Gus Wirth, WCA president, said the resolutions passed on Sunday simply “reiterated WCA positions dating back to 2011 regarding Medicaid eligibility for Wisconsin residents.”

That position is that WCA is willing to work with the administration to expand Medicaid when possible.

However, Citizen Action put out a release on Monday stating “On Sunday, September 22nd at its 2013 Convention the Wisconsin Counties Association passed a resolution urging Gov. Walker to reverse course on BadgerCare and accept enhanced federal funds. Citizen Action of Wisconsin commends the work county leaders are doing to advance the health security of everyone in Wisconsin.”

The Associated Press reported what Citizen Action released, and it was printed in newspapers across the state and in Minnesota.

“The Wisconsin Counties Association has passed a resolution reaffirming its longstanding position that the state ought to accept federal money to pay for Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” read the story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The WCA then released its statement correcting the error.

Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) told the MacIver News Service, “It is not surprising that Citizen Action would be involved unethically misrepresenting an organization’s position. Their board is made up of representatives of out fits like SEIU, Planned Parenthood, AFT, Local 212, and the Madison Institute and Physicians for National Health Plan. Their positions should always be carefully scrutinized.”

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has been a strong advocate for ObamaCare in the state. In fact, Kevin Kane, who is the Healthcare Organizer for Citizen Action of Wisconsin, is also on the staff for Common Ground Healthcare Coop, one of the major insurers to be listed on the Obamacare exchanges in Wisconsin.

The MacIver News Service reported last month about Citizen Action claiming 20 counties were pushing for extra Obamacare funding, when in several instances, it was individual county supervisors acting alone.