With Michael Moore's new film Sicko premiering across the country, it is a good time to remember that states are leading the way to ensure health care for all residents. Wisconsin may soon launch to the front of the pack of states that are progressively moving health care reform.
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 all residents under age 65 and who don't qualify for expanded Medicaid programs with comprehensive coverage and preserve freedom of choice of doctors. Under the plan, there would be no monthly premiums and only minimal co-pays and low annual deductibles. Let me repeat that -- NO monthy premiums and ONLY minimal co-pays.
Known as the Wisconsin Health Care Reform Campaign, this group will bring together members of the service, advocacy, labor and activist community to fight for a health care reform program.
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.
None of this would have happened without the great work done by Citizen Action of Wisconsin and a coalition of over 30 organizations who are working together to guarantee health care coverage for all Wisconsin residents.
This is very, very big news and proves once again for real leadership on the issues that matter most to Americans, we must look to the states.
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