Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

State Senate passes BadgerCarePlus Basic


The MacIver Institute has the details on the State Senate action today on the proposed BadgerCarePlus Basic:

During the early afternoon debate Thursday, Republican Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) was blunt in his assessment about what is wrong with the plan.

He argued the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance would never allow a company in the private sector to market a plan like BadgerCare Basic, which Kanavas said will not have enough reserves to cover the risk the State is assuming, “There are simply not enough funds to support the kind of claims you are going to see.”

An effort was made to once again send the bill back to the Senate Org Committee, this time put forward by Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).

Before the vote, Senator John Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) warned his fellow Democrats, ” If you vote to send this back to committee, you vote to kill this.”

After a lengthy debate of more than 90 minutes, Senator Fitzgerald’s motion  failed 15-18, with all the Democrats voting no.  Debate then began on a series of amendments.

An Vinehout amendment (SA3) to require an audit of the program passed with a bipartisan vote of 23-10 (with Democrats Carpenter, Jauch, Kreitlow, Plale, Robson, Sullivan and Taylor joining Vinehout and all the Republicans in support).

Before the final vote, Senate Fitzgerald made one last stand, arguing the plan would prove to be an expensive burden on Wisconsin taxpayers.

“This is the public option that we are voting on, just so we are clear,”said Fitzgerald. “This is Obamacare light.”

Senator Erpenbach defended his bill.

“This isn’t going to cost the state any money,”  said Erpenbach. He argued it was not universal coverage and that eligible individuals could choose whether or not to enroll.

“Here is a choice, this is a choice they have, if they choose to do so,” he said. “Obamacare? No, not even close.”

Shortly after 3pm, the bill passed 17-16 with Vinehout the lone Democrat joining the Republicans in voting no.

The bill now goes to the State Assembly. I’ve written previously on this issue, and even mentioned an alternative private plan in Florida.

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