Former Gov. Doyle Talks Health Care Politics at Health,
Labor, and Employment Institute
By org jforward wisbar Joe Forward, Legal Writer,
State Bar of Wisconsin
Former Gov. Doyle presents “The Politics
Associated with Health Care Reform” at the Health, Labor and
Employment Law Institute. Doyle is now practicing health care law at
Foley & Lardner’s Madison office.
Michael Bamberger (right), a health care lawyer in
Milwaukee, and Madison labor and employment lawyer Daniel Kaplan teamed
up to deliver an year-in-review update. Here, the two prepare for a
post-presentation interview for the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Timberlake, recipient of the 2012 Health Law Attorney of the Year Award,
talks about collaboration within Wisconsin’s health care system.
Timberlake is the director of the Population Health Institute at the
U.W. School of Medicine and Public Health.
Aug. 24, 2012 – Should it be U.S. policy that all
people have access to affordable health care or not? That’s the
ongoing question, according to former Gov. Jim Doyle, featured
speaker at the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE’s Health, Labor,
and Employment Law Institute, a two-day event that concluded today at
the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
Doyle, who served two terms as Wisconsin’s governor and is now
practicing health law in Foley & Lardner’s
Madison office, was tapped by the State Bar to speak based on his health
law expertise, which is nationally recognized, and his work with the
He focused on the current health care debate in light of President
Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Car Act and the
U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on
The Harvard Law School graduate’s public appearance was a rare
one since leaving office in 2011. “I just think a former governor
should step aside and let new players take the stage,” he said.
“That's why I haven't talked about a lot here. But I care
a lot about health care.”
Doyle says time will tell whether America comes to a consensus on the
health care issue. “Fifty years from now, people will look back on
this period in American history. I would like to believe they’ll
say America made the right decisions. But it’s still a political
story to be written,” he said.
A Democrat, Doyle encourages governmental involvement. Because the
Affordable Car Act passed – and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld
its constitutionality in the landmark case of National
Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius – the country is
moving in the direction of ensuring affordable health care for everyone,
he says. But the question is not settled.
“When it comes to health care, do you let the market take care of
it, or should the government be involved in making sure people have
access to affordable health care?” asked Doyle. “It’s
still an open question.” Doyle’s State Bar
presentation and post-interview remarks were featured in a television
news story on WKOW and in an article
by Wisconsin Public Radio.
Health care, and Medicare and Medicaid in particular, will headline
heated debates in the upcoming presidential election, he says.
“Health care may be as big an issue in people’s minds as the
economy,” said Doyle, who noted that unlike some states, Wisconsin
(through BadgerCare) does not limit healthcare subsidies
to the poorest individuals in the state.
He says middle income families have a hard time finding health
insurance on the market because the market doesn’t exist.
“To me, this is the reality, there is no market,” Doyle
Doyle says health care programs and exchanges fill this insurance gap,
and some lower-performing states don’t meet the standards now
required by federal law.
“It’s amazing to watch the politics of this,” he
said. He said he hopes historians will look back and say Americans made
the decision, after a lot of political turmoil, to give people access to
affordable health care without bankrupting the family.
WisconsinEye has Doyle's full
presentation from the State Bar PINNACLE's Health, Labor,
and Employment Law Institute.
Doyle also recognized Karen Timberlake, recipient of the 2012 Health
Law Attorney of the Year Award, presented by the State Bar’s
Health Law Section. Timberlake, and her accomplishments, are featured
in an article in the Aug. 15 issue of WisBar InsideTrack.
Other Programs at the Labor & Employment Law
While former Gov. Doyle headlined the event, other
presenters dove deep into recent developments and must-know information
in the health, labor, and employment law areas.
Attorneys Michael Bamberger and Dan
Kaplan opened the Institute with an update of health care, labor, and
employment legislation and cases over the past 18 months.
“I would like to emphasize that labor and employment law in
Wisconsin is a very dynamic area, and lawyers should stay up-to-date on
the court decisions and legislation that occurs on a regular
basis,” said Kaplan, a labor and employment lawyer at Foley &
Lardner in Madison.
Kaplan talked about several cases, including one that expands
retaliation claims. Those claims are on the rise, he says. Also, Kaplan
advised lawyers to keep an eye on pending legislation, such as the
Password Protection Act, which would give greater protection to
In his presentation, Oyvind Wistrom, who practices management-side labor
and employment law at Lindner & Marsack, focused on handling cases before the
state’s Equal Rights Division and the federal Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, including different procedures.
“I think it’s very important for lawyers to understand that
there are very distinct differences in some of the laws that
enforced,” he said. For instance, even though state and federal
laws prohibit discrimination against disabled individuals, state law is
broader than the federal law.
Nathan Eisenberg and Ronald Pfiefer, both labor and employment lawyers,
shared their insights about the National Labor Relations Board and
“The National Labor Relations Board, for some time, has been
regarded as an agency that wasn’t doing a lot of interesting
things and suddenly, in the last couple years, it has become an agency
in action,” said Pfiefer. “There
are some significant changes under way.”
Labor and employment lawyers Jina Jonen and Judith Williams-Killackey tackled social media, and
gave tips on how to deal with it from the employee and employer
“The really exciting thing about social media is that
there’s no typical issue that comes up,” said Williams-Killacky, who counsels unions when an
employee is accused of misconduct. Sometimes, that involves questionable
Facebook or Twitter posts.
On the health law side, Adam Tutaj delved into the
HIPPA and the HITECH Act, the
federal rules on privacy and security of protected health information.
“This is an ever-changing field,” said Tutaj, who covered breach notifications and
civil monetary penalties in detail.
Other topics included medical staff privileges, health care regulation,
and physician employment, among others. The State Bar will highlight
several of these presenters, and their topics, in upcoming video
interviews in WisBar InsideTrack, an online
In addition, State Bar
PINNACLE captured many presentations from the Health, Labor,
and Employment Institute, which will be available via webcast for CLE
credit in upcoming months. All those who attended the Institute can view
any presentations at no additional cost.
Check out the State
Bar’s Facebook page for interviews and photos, and other
coverage of the 2012 Health, Labor, and Employment Institute.