A state lawmaker wants to know why Republicans oppose the Senate's universal health care plan, when it would simply expand the same coverage they receive to all of Wisconsin.
State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) says state health insurance coverage for him and his family only costs about two dollars a day. During a Capitol press conference on Tuesday, he questioned why Republicans would deny those benefits to the public. Erpenbach says the private sector often charges seven times more than what state lawmakers have available to them.
The Middleton Democrat says the Senate's Healthy Wisconsin plan would offer that same coverage statewide, even though opponents says it would amount to billions of dollars in new payroll taxes. Erpenbach says he's willing to compromise on the plan, as long as the solution offers real reform. He continues to dismiss a push by Republicans to make Health Savings Accounts tax exempt.
Republicans fired back Tuesday at Erpenbach’s comments, raising more questions about the Senate's health plan. In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) expressed concerns about the Democrats’ plan, such as how there are no protections in place to keep the tax revenue from being raided. Fitzgerald also pressed for Democrats to review long term costs of the program to the state.