July 23, 2011
Republicans Issue New (BAD) Rules for Wisconsin
Lower Health Insurance Policy Readability Standards
No Reporting on Corporate Campaign Giving in Elections
(MADISON) Senator Lena C. Taylor, Senate Ranking Member of the Joint Committee for Review on Administrative Rules, expressed deep concern for the actions of the Republican majority of the committee today as the GOP legislators approved rolling back consumer protections standards on health insurance policies and introduced a bill to end the reporting of corporation’s campaign donations.
“The proud history of consumer protection and election integrity in Wisconsin has been washed away in the first 6 months of Walker and his GOP rubberstamps running the Capitol,” Taylor noted. “Today Republicans voted to make it harder to read and to access your health insurance policy and then turned around and introduced a bill to stop corporations from having to report campaign donations! Once again, Republicans refused to take the side of the working people of Wisconsin who have demanded fairness and openness in the law and elections.”
Emergency Rule 1101 repealed the change to insurance policy readability approved in the last session by Senator Taylor’s committee. That rule provided that all health insurance policies have a Flesch reading ease score of at least which equates to writing the policy at least at a 10th grade reading level. The new rules, approved by Republicans, would now make it harder to read a policy as they require a Flesch reading ease score of 40. In addition, the joint committee introduced a bill that suspended a rule from Government Accountability Board which regulated corporation’s campaign finance donations AND prohibited the GAB from making any rule regulating corporate donations.
“Wisconsin citizens demand that we uphold the integrity of elections. That was the GOP argument when they pushed through the ‘Voter ID (suppression)’ Bill,” Taylor commented. “Just a few short days later, the GOP requires no ID, no reporting, no standards, no accountability for corporations to dump money into elections in Wisconsin. Couple that with less protection for insurance consumers and you can only find that Wisconsin’s people have gotten the classic bait and switch scam from the majority party.”
The committee approved the extension of ER 1101, Insurance Policy Readability and the introduction of the bill repealing the Government Accountability Board’s rule on a party-line vote.