Despite popular belief, not all Wisconsin veterans have health care, and one lawmaker wants to change that.
It's called the Veterans Interim Health Care bill. State Representative Steve Hilgenberg (D-Dodgeville) cites a recent study by Harvard Medical School , saying one out of every eight veterans under the age of 65 is uninsured.
"What's happening is these veterans are slipping through the cracks."
Hilgenberg's ( pronounce ) measure would create limited-term health insurance for veterans who don't qualify for any state or federal VA program and don't have access to employer-based health care insurance.
"The perception is that most people are covered by the VA or Medicaid but the thing that we found is many of the veterans are either too poor to afford private coverage or they're not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid or VA."
The Dodgeville Democrat says there's no estimate in terms of the amount of funding needed for this program, but the money will most likely come from a combination of federal, state, and private resources.
"We needed to come up with a short-term solution to it, which is basically a 24-month solution that will limit the time they can receive the benefits."
The Harvard study shows roughly 1.8 million veterans nationwide lack health care coverage. Hilgenberg doesn't yet have the numbers for Wisconsin, but with the help of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, gives a rough estimate of 10,000 veterans who'd be eligible under his bill. He plans to introduce this legislation within the next couple of weeks.