Word on the street is that Governor Walker has already promised private contracts to UnitedHealth Group to administer services to elderly and disabled people under Wisconsin's Family Care and IRIS programs and facilitated by county Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), all of which are targeted in the proposed state budget for privatization. I'd been previously hearing that the insurance industry giant Humana would likely be in line for at least some of these contracts.
As the public outcry in opposition to these budget proposals intensifies, it's worth noting the appearance of insider dealing in the governor's office. The governor's chief of staff was a top executive at UnitedHealth before joining the administration.
If legislators go along with the changes Governor Walker is seeking, seniors and disabled people in need of assistance will have to phone in to a privately run call center instead of being able to meet face-to-face with a benefits specialist as they can now. And they will be at the mercy of private, for-profit companies like UnitedHealth or Humana when trying to access needed services.
All the more reason to #fixthisbudgetnow.