The plan, called Healthy Wisconsin, would provide comprehensive coverage and preserve freedom of choice of doctors for all residents who are under age 65 and don't qualify for expanded Medicaid programs. Under the plan, there would be no monthly premiums and only minimal co-pays and low annual deductibles.Unfortunately, leaders in the Republican-controlled Assembly are planning to strip these provisions out of the budget. Regardless on whether it ultimately passes or not, this is still a very bold move on the part of the Senate and forces Republicans to have to oppose it.
Healthy Wisconsin would be financed with a simple payroll tax paid by employees (2-4% of social security wages) and employers (9-12% of wages). Similarly, sole proprietors would pay 10% of Social Security wages and unemployed individuals not eligible for public programs would pay 10% of the adjusted gross income. To ensure affordability for low-income residents, Healthy Wisconsin expands BadgerCare, the state's Medicaid program, to 300% of income for families and to 200% for childless adults.
If you live in Wisconsin, please write to your representative in the Assembly and tell them to keep the budget intact.
On a healthcare-related note, everyone should go see "Sicko" after it opens tomorrow. It is receiving rave reviews, with many saying it is Michael Moore's best (and most non-partisan) film.