Senate Bill 484, often referred to as BadgerCare Plus Basic, was scheduled in the State Senate today, Tuesday, February 23.
BadgerCare Plus Basic is health insurance for the 21,000 people on the Badger Care Plus Core plan waiting list due to the enrollment cap the Department of Health Services implemented in the fall of 2009. BadgerCare Plus Basic is intended to be funded entirely by premiums paid by enrollees. Here is a link to the bill.
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However, critics argue Erbenbach’s plan is impractical. First of all, at $130 a month, it is cost prohibitive to low-income individuals, they say. Also, since it may only serve five thousand people, the insurance pool is too small, bringing in only $7.8 million a year to cover medical costs.
“If you get a couple of hits, boom, that sucker’s gone! And that’s the life of being a government insurance company, and that’s the problem,” argued Sen. Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield).
Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) also disagrees with Erpenbach’s plan. “Badger Basic, continues everything that’s wrong with our current health care system,” she said bluntly.
“Because the state doesn’t have any extra revenue, the plan is supposed to be paid for with premiums. But with 50% of the potential population without income, so it’s hard to set a premium low enough that covers costs,” Vinehout continued. “Badger Basic puts the risk on the state and taxpayers.”
Erpenbach admits BadgerCare Plus Basic is far from ideal.
“It’s not like we’re going out and saying ‘Hey, come on. We’ve got this great plan."