Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wisconsin Senate Democrats Advance Universal Healthcare Plan

In what is probably the boldest move on health care reform ever in a state, the Wisconsin Senate included in the state budget a plan ensuring health care coverage for all residents which was approved on Tuesday:

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.

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.
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.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you insane? Let's see. Under the plan, I'm going to pay more for health insurance than someone in my company who makes less than I do and has more people to cover? How is that fair? I crunched the numbers based on what has been made available on the basics of the plan and it turns out that my company will be paying $350,000 more in health insurance premium per year. That's a big chunk of change for the size company for whom I work. Both my husband and I work full-time. Under this plan, we would be paying a much higher premium than what we pay now (yes, we feel the crunch in paying copays, high deductibles and contribute to the cost of the insurance).

As for Michael Moore, too funny. Michael Moore able to create a bi-partisan documentary? Sorry, I can't stop laughing.