Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Middleton) has joined with some Republican colleagues to introduce the State Based Healthcare Reform Act.
Feingold supports universal health care, but many Republicans don't. "Let's have a competition where three or four or five states win a competition to become pilot programs to show us how they would go about providing, as close to possible, universal health care for all Americans," Feingold explains.
The "experiments" would be done over a five year period.
"We'll see what works and doesn't work on the ground so we get out of these theoretical debates," he says.
Feingold says the state pilot programs could run the gamut. "One might be a single-payer, a state like Wisconsin might apply to have a largely employer-based coalition where the remainder is picked up the Federal Government, others might try Health Savings Accounts," Feingold says.
Introduced a few years ago, Feingold says he continues to pick up supporters for the concept. He's says he'll push it hard next year.
Polls show most Americans believe states would handle the health care crisis more efficiently than the federal government.