Nation's Most Comprehensive Health Plan Approved in Wisconsin Senate
In perhaps the boldest move on health care reform ever in a state, Wisconsin Senate leaders included in the state budget a plan ensuring health care coverage for all residents. 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.
Meanwhile in North Carolina, insurance industry lobbyists block attempts to create health benefits like a high risk insurance pool, expand children's health insurance or provide mental health parity.