A four year old fund raid has been reversed, to the relief of Wisconsin physicians. It’s the end of a long process — a Dane County judge has ordered the state to pay some $235 million to the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund. “This is an extremely important moment for physicians and patients in Wisconsin, to have this case come to a conclusion,” said Ruth Heitz, General Counsel for the Wisconsin Medical Society, which sued after the Doyle Administration moved the money out of the fund in 2007 in order to balance the state budget. “The money that’s in the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund is not taxpayer money,” said Heitz. “It was money entrusted to the fund for the purpose of paying claims in the event that a patient was injured.”
A Dane County judge dismissed the suit in 2008, but the Medical Society appealed to the state Supreme Court, which ruled a year ago that the transfer was illegal. In May, the Legislature voted to allocate part of a projected $636 million dollars in extra state revenue to pay off the money. In a statement, Governor Scott Walker said the settlement is a huge step toward restoring confidence in our state’s ability to manage its finances. He said the “the old era of illegal fund raids” is ending.