Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary.

Close-up of American Dollar banknotes with stethoscope

Walker administration’s BadgerCare work mandates blocked by Biden

By: - February 16, 2021

A work requirement for some Wisconsin Medicaid recipients has been put on hold and will likely be scrapped following action by the Biden administration. The decision was welcomed Monday by health care advocates, who said that the requirement violated the underlying objectives of the federal Medicaid program, which in Wisconsin is called BadgerCare. “The purpose […]

Federal health insurance marketplace reopens for three months

By: - February 15, 2021

Wisconsin residents without health insurance were able to start signing up again Monday Feb. 15 for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The federal health insurance marketplace at, which is used by 36 states including Wisconsin, will remain open through May 15 under a new enrollment period that President Joe Biden authorized in […]

Nursing Home worker

New report shows nursing home COVID-19 cases, deaths have fallen

By: - February 12, 2021

After months of alarming increases in COVID-19 cases and deaths among Wisconsin nursing home residents, a new report indicates that news may be getting better. In the four-week period ending Jan 17, both the rate of new infections and the rate of deaths among Wisconsin nursing home residents were cut almost in half compared with […]

Tax withholding paperwork calculator

Tax break on business costs covered by PPP clears committee

By: - February 11, 2021

Democrats on the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee sought changes Wednesday to more narrowly focus a $450 million state income tax break for businesses that received COVID-19 help from the federal government. But the Republican-controlled committee rejected all of them before sending the measure to the full assembly. The overall bill, AB-2, primarily consisted of routine, […]

The giant hodag statue wearing a COVID-19 mask

Injunction motion aims to bring high court back into the mask order fight

By: - February 10, 2021

The Waukesha plaintiff who is suing in the Wisconsin Supreme Court to end Gov. Tony Evers’ health emergency and mask order now wants the court to block the governor’s latest COVID-19 emergency declaration. Jeré Fabick filed a motion late Tuesday as part of his ongoing lawsuit against the governor, which was argued before the state […]

Hands grasping bars in jail or prison

Senate bill boosts addiction treatment, Medicaid coverage for prisoners before release

By: - February 10, 2021

A bipartisan bill to be introduced Wednesday would allow prisoners to get addiction treatment covered by Medicaid starting 30 days before their release from jail or prison. The bipartisan measure, coauthored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), would create an exception to a federal law that bars virtually all federal health coverage for prisoners. Joining Baldwin […]

Proposal would grant tax breaks to businesses with expenses covered by PPP

By: - February 10, 2021

What was supposed to be a routine piece of tax code legislation has become the vehicle for a $450 million or more tax break for Wisconsin businesses that received federal loans to help them in the pandemic. The proposed change would enable a business to take a tax deduction on expenses it incurred in the […]

Full length of young woman shielding eyes while standing by large green coronavirus against white background. Getty Images

Second case of new COVID-19 variant found in Wisconsin

By: - February 9, 2021

A second Wisconsin resident has tested positive for a rapidly spreading new strain of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, state health officials said Tuesday. The case was found in Waukesha County. The variant, identified as B.1.1.7 of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is believed to spread more easily, and may cause an increased risk of death, according […]

Act 10 protests at the Wisconsin Capitol 2011. Photo by Emily Mills CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Union-backed survey finds public support for unions, especially for health care workers

By: - February 9, 2021

Most Wisconsin voters support unions, particularly for health care workers, along with policies to help people recover from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on health as well as on the economy, according to new survey findings. “Voters in this state are clamoring for help,” said Mario Brossard of Global Strategy Group, which presented the survey results […]

Male caretaker helping senior man with walker in nursing home

Nursing home workers in Wisconsin outpace their co-workers nationally in accepting COVID-19 vaccine

By: - February 9, 2021

Although a national study reports that nearly two-thirds of nursing home workers who have been offered the COVID-19 vaccine have turned it down, Wisconsin appears to be an exception. Nearly two out of three of the state’s nursing home workers who have been offered the vaccine have accepted it, according to the state Department of […]

Gov. Tony Evers gives his State of the State speech 1/12/21 (screenshot via YouTube)

Evers vetoes COVID-19 bill, calling rejected compromise a ‘missed opportunity’

By: - February 6, 2021

A month of sparring over new COVID-19 response legislation concluded Friday with Gov. Tony Evers, as widely expected, vetoing the Legislature’s first bill since April to address the pandemic. Evers acted shortly after the state Senate, voting along party lines, approved an amendment to the bill that the Assembly inserted on Thursday that added yet […]

Supreme Court Room in the Madison Capitol Building in fully spherical panorama by Ryan Wick via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Spotlight back on Supreme Court after COVID-19 order conflicts

By: - February 5, 2021

For nearly three months, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court has been sitting on a case that is at the center of the Republican maneuver to kill the COVID-19 health emergency order that Gov. Tony Evers declared in January. With the flurry of activity on Thursday — as a divided state Assembly ended the Jan. 19 […]