Wisconsin state Representatives Steve Doyle and Jill Billings are leading the charge to expand public healthcare options for thousands of Wisconsinites. They are urging their Republican colleagues to support the BadgerCare Public Option bill, which aims to address the healthcare needs of residents beyond Medicaid. The bill would also extend coverage to employers with under 50 employees, allowing them to buy into BadgerCare. Families with an annual income of up to $60,000 would immediately qualify under the proposed legislation.
One of the key aspects of the bill is its reliance on federal support that Wisconsin has declined for several years. By utilizing this federal funding, the state could cover 95% of the expansion costs. Representative Billings emphasized the importance of not leaving this money on the table any longer. She pointed to Minnesota as an example, where a similar bill passed in May and has been financially successful.
According to the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, approximately 300,000 residents in the state currently lack health insurance coverage. By expanding public options, Doyle and Billings believe that Wisconsin can address the increasing healthcare costs, particularly in areas like La Crosse.
Passing the bill through the Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to be a challenge. However, the representatives remain optimistic and view this as the starting point for garnering support for the bill and the public as a whole. They urge their Republican counterparts not to ignore the pressing issue of healthcare any longer.
Q: What is the BadgerCare Public Option bill?
A: The BadgerCare Public Option bill aims to expand public healthcare options in Wisconsin beyond Medicaid, allowing more residents and small businesses to access affordable health insurance.
Q: How would the bill be funded?
A: The bill relies on federal support that Wisconsin has not accepted for several years. This federal funding would cover 95% of the expansion costs.
Q: What is the current healthcare coverage situation in Wisconsin?
A: According to the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, around 300,000 residents in Wisconsin have no health insurance coverage.
Q: How do the representatives feel about the prospects of passing the bill?
A: Representatives Doyle and Billings acknowledge that passing the bill through the Republican-controlled Legislature will be challenging but remain hopeful that it will gain support over time.