Governor Jim Doyle has unveiled a new health care plan designed to be self-sustaining. Currently more than 20,000 Wisconsinites are on a waiting list for the BadgerCare Plus Core Plan. Doyle says the new BadgerCare Plus Basic will provide minimum coverage for those people such as Mary Tree, an unemployed woman, who spoke at the morning press event.

For a monthly premium of $130, a Plus Basic member has up to 10 physician visits, limited hospitalization, five emergency room visits annually, as well as generic medication and Badger Gold RX discount drug membership.

“This will meet about 95 percent of the basic medical needs of most people in the state;” says the Governor who concedes the coverage is not ideal for Mary and others who are used to more expansive coverage.

Doyle calls the new program a “bridge” to either a job with medical insurance or a slot opening up on the Plus Core Plan.

In mid-October due to budget issues, the state suspended new enrollments in Plus Core which lead to the massive waiting list.

The legislation for BadgerCare Plus Basic will be introduced in Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) and Representative Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) who chair their respective chambers’ health committees.

Brian Moon reports (:65)


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