VP Mike Pence Visits Milwaukee

Vice President Mike Pence visited Milwaukee for a listening session on Obamacare on Saturday June 10th, 2017.  And our very own Jon Rauser was invited to be on the panel.

Jon prepared a few talking points; that you can read here.

Comments to Vice President Pence / Governor Walker Roundtable June 10th, 2017

(The invite says I am to answer this question: “Explain how the ACA has negatively

 impacted small businesses.”)

Mr. Vice President. Governor Walker. I’m honored to be at this table. Thank you for the


Ninety percent of all businesses in the state of Wisconsin have fewer than 50

employees. For over 30 years I’ve been privileged to serve that constituency in the role

of an independent health insurance advisor. You ask, “how has the ACA negatively

impacted small groups?” My clients would ask that I say this (it will take 85 seconds):


Respectfully Mr. Vice President, what we’re seeing is a case of déjà vu all over again!


Prior to The ACA premiums were “skyrocketing.” Same today. Prior to The ACA, there

were calls for price transparency. Same today. Prior to the ACA there was no mandate

that small businesses offer coverage. Same today. Most of my clients continue to

offer coverage, albeit at ever increasing costs. The ACA required that health

insurers stop applying pre-existing conditions limitations to small groups. Did that stop

insurers from cherry picking healthy groups? No. The practice continues today in the

form of self-funded ERISA based plans available to groups as small as 5 lives.

The ACA was insurance reform but largely did NOT address the underlying cause for

high premiums; i.e., the stunningly high cost of health care. Same today with the AHCA.

And finally, the ACA was an omnibus bill passed by Democrats without a single

Republican vote. The reverse is now happening with the House version of the AHCA.

Why do we expect a better product  with the same blueprint? 


So, here’s an action plan compliments of my small business owners – just four steps

that could be taken incrementally and NOW:

  • Replace (no, outlaw!) the current payment model that rewards volume. We need value based bundled pricing for episodes of care . . . and it must be transparent.
  • Restore or set up new state based high risk pools
  • Re-set age bands and allow coverage options more attractive to the younger people we need in the pool
  • $125,000 for a 6-month treatment of Hep C is just one example of the need for prescription drug reform; it might even be time for price controls

There’s more but I’ll stop.

Thank you for hosting this listening session. It’s what I do with every renewal I deliver.

Jon Rauser

The Rauser Agency Inc

Milwaukee and Mequon, Wisconsin

414-276-6159 (direct)


I might add, smaller incremental changes are far more likely to gain bi-partisan support;

Witness, the PACE Act of October 2015.


Extra credit: The lawsuit against the Cost-Sharing Reduction payments (CSRs) is one of

several factors creating uncertainty in the individual market. “Stop it!”

Panel of Speakers

Jon and VP Mike Pence