In the state Senate, a bump on the road to a stripped down health insurance plan. The Senate was set to vote Tuesday on legislation that will establish benefits and appropriate funding for Governor Jim Doyle’s BadgerCare Basic Plan. But Majority Leader Russ Decker sent the bill (SB-484) back to a committee, saying some of his members want “a longer look.” Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald jumped on that. “There are some serious issues that have emerged amongst members of the majority party’s caucus,” said Fitzgerald. “I hope there’s no arm twisting going on. I hope this isn’t about intimidating people into voting for this piece of legislation.”
Any arm twisting is likely being directed at Senator Kathleen Vinehout, who says BadgerCare Basic is undercapitalized, provides expensive care and mediocre coverage. “Certainly people wanted to change my mind,” said Vinehout when asked about Fitzgerald’s reference to arm twisting. “But I think it was clear after we had a discussion and I laid down my reasons, that wasn’t going to happen,” she said.
AUDIO: Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (:35 MP3) AUDIO: Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (:35 MP3)
BadgerCare Basic is health insurance for low-income residents on the waiting list for the state’s BadgerCare Core Plan. An amended bill will be back on the Senate floor Thursday. Vinehout said there are serious concerns with the plan, and that she will “absolutely not” vote for the bill.