Senate Democrats introduce their new universal health care plan for almost everyone in the state. Democrats call it, "Healthy Wisconsin: Your Choice, Your Plan."

Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson (D-Beloit) says the plan creates a single insurance pool for all residents in the Badger state except for those already covered under federal health care plans, BadgerCare and BadgerCare Plus. "Every person in the state of Wisconsin will have the same health care benefits as their state legislators have."

Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) emphasizes that this is YOUR plan. "You choose your doctor; you choose your delivery system; it's up to you. The only thing we're telling you to do is you have to do this. You have to get a doctor."

Erpenbach says nobody will be "gouged to death" to get the healthcare coverage they need. Also, he says, nobody will ever be refused because of preexisting conditions. Republican lawmakers say this budget amendment is too expensive. … creating a $15-billion tax increase. Payroll deductions of about $140 for the average worker will cover much of the cost of the plan, and about $370 for the average employer. Majority Democrats in the Senate are expected to pass this plan (Tuesday).

There is a $300 per person deductible and a 600-dollar family deductible. Erpenbach says the state will go from having about 472-thousand uninsured residents to only about 15-thousand under this plan.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:12 MP3)

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