WISCONSINREPORT.COM (12/16/2009) - Citizen Action of Wisconsin (CAW) has issued a new report that shows the U.S. Senate health care bill under consideration would extend coverage to over 330,000 Wisconsinites if enacted. CAW Executive Director Robert Kraig says it would be sad if the Senate doesn't pass the so-called health care reform bill. If the bill doesn't make it to the White House for President Obama to sign, Wisconsin residents would be losing meaningful health care reform.
Although the political twists and turns of the health care debate in the U.S. Senate can seem unconnected to Wisconsin, the bill’s success or failure will have profound implications for the well being of Wisconsin residents.
According to a report released today by one of Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s national partners, Families USA, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents will gain health care coverage.
That is, if the Senate bill is enacted, and, the report shows that tens of thousands will lose their coverage absent meaningful health care reform.
The Families USA report on the Senate bill, “At a Crossroads,” has the following Wisconsin-specific findings:
(1) There will be a net gain of 332,000 additional Wisconsin residents with health insurance coverage under the Senate health care reform bill by 2019;
(2) Absent meaningful health care reform, 86,000 additional Wisconsin residents will lose their health insurance coverage by 2019.
"The latest Families USA report crystallizes the stark implications for Wisconsin of the contentious health care reform debate now taking place in the U.S. Senate," said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
“The shocking reality is that the failure of health care reform in the Senate would deny health care coverage to 332,000 Wisconsinites," Kraig continued.
"It would be unconscionable to allow petty politics to stand in the way of real reform," Kraig said.
The Families USA study is based on Congressional Budget Office estimates and Census Data.
As debate continues on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act this week, the fate of health reform lies in the hands of the U.S. Senate.
The Families USA report indicates that passage of a bill is the crucial next step. If the Senate fails to do this, the current effort to reform the health care system will come to a halt.
The actions that the Senate takes could very well have a profound effect on the future of health coverage for millions of American families outside of Wisconsin as well.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 31 million Americans would gain coverage under the Senate bill by 2019.
In contrast, if efforts to pass the bill fail, millions of Americans will join the ranks of the uninsured. The CBO estimates that the number of uninsured, which is currently about 46 million,1 would rise to 54 million by 2019 (the last year for which the CBO includes estimates of coverage).
As these data demonstrate, the United States is at a crossroads, according to Families USA: The Senate can pass its health reform bill, which would extend coverage to millions of Americans who are currently uninsured, or it can fail to act, allowing the crisis of the uninsured to grow unabated.