WISCREPORT.COM - Governor Jim Doyle has received endorsements from patients, physicians, health care providers, and businesses for his "Health Care for All" agenda. The Governor's bold health care reform agenda will make comprehensive health care coverage more affordable and ensure access to 98 percent of Wisconsin citizens. Governor Jim Doyle proclaimed the week of April 23, 2007 as "Cover the Uninsured Week" in Wisconsin.
"By ensuring every child has health insurance, expanding health coverage to more adults, and making health care premiums tax free, we will make Wisconsin America's health care leader," Governor Doyle said. "Best of all, at least 98 percent of our citizens will have access to health care coverage - more than any other state in the nation."
Today over 50 organizations signed on to support the Governor's health care agenda - from physicians, patients, community organizations and health care providers to businesses, farmers, and children and family advocates.
"We believe Governor Doyle's proposal is an important step to improve the health status of Wisconsin's most precious asset, its children," said Holly Falik, MD, of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WIAAP) executive council. "The WIAAP, representing over 700 pediatricians throughout Wisconsin, supports the Governor's efforts to provide health coverage to all children in the state."
"Increasing access of quality health insurance and implementing effective ways to reduce the burden of cost is an important component to improving the health of Milwaukee citizens," said Bevan K. Baker, commissioner of health for the city of Milwaukee. "Cover the Uninsured Week is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of the growing number of individuals who are without health insurance."
"The state's small businesses and farmers are clearly excited about the Governor's initiative," said Wayne Corey, executive director of Wisconsin Independent Businesses. "We believe this will be the beginning of significant health care reform in the State of Wisconsin."
The Governor's BadgerCare Plus program offers health coverage to every child and more pregnant women in Wisconsin by streamlining Medicaid, BadgerCare and Healthy Start into one comprehensive program. Low income families would simply enroll their children into BadgerCare Plus, and families with higher incomes will be able to buy into the program for as little as $10 a month.
BadgerCare Plus will also expand coverage to adults making up to 200 percent of the poverty level, whether they have children or not, helping an additional 71,000 hardworking men and women get the health care they need.
Governor Doyle's budget also makes all health care premiums tax-free in Wisconsin. Any family that makes taxable contributions to their health insurance would be able to fully deduct those premiums.
Governor Doyle is also investing $30 million to help doctors and hospitals use technology to eliminate costly medical errors. He will implement an electronic medical records system statewide that will allow doctors to share patient information, reducing medical error and redundant care.
So more low income people will be able to access health care, Governor Doyle is increasing the rate that health care providers are reimbursed for providing services to Medicaid patients. This proposal will save the taxpayers money because people will be able to get preventive care rather than waiting to seek care until costly emergency services are needed.
To improve public health for all people in Wisconsin, the Governor has launched comprehensive statewide anti-smoking initiative that will ban smoking, increase the cost of cigarettes, and expand smoking cessation programs. The Governor's anti-smoking initiative employs proven strategies to reduce smoking and save lives.
The Governor also plans to provide all children in Wisconsin with access to comprehensive dental care by addressing the shortage of providers that offer care, growing successful programs targeting underserved kids and families, and creating a new statewide system that will expand access to dental care for children and families across Wisconsin.
Governor Doyle's "Health Care for All" agenda has the support of the following organizations and individuals:
ABC for Health
AIDS Network of Wisconsin
AIDS Resource Center
American Cancer Society, Midwest Division
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
American Lung Association of Wisconsin
Americans for Democratic Action
Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Bevan Baker, Commissioner, City of Milwaukee Health Department
Coalition for Wisconsin Health
Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups (CWAG)
Community Alliance of Providers of Wisconsin (CAPOW)
David Kindig, Emeritus Professor of Population Health Sciences, Healthy Wisconsin Council co-chair
Fr. Thomas Mueller, St. Cyril and Methodist Orthodox Church
Greater Wisconsin Committee
Jim Riordan, President and CEO, Wisconsin Physicians Service (WPS) Health Insurance
Michael Weiden, Healthy Wisconsin Council co-chair
Mickey Judkins, Details
Wisconsin Counties Association
Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives
Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians
Wisconsin Association of Family and Children's Agencies
Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards
Wisconsin Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Wisconsin Chiropractic Association
Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF)
Wisconsin Council on Churches
Wisconsin Dental Hygienist's Association
Wisconsin Education Association (WEA) Trust
Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC)
Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals
Wisconsin Independent Businesses Inc (WIB)
Wisconsin Jewish Conference
Wisconsin Optometric Association
Wisconsin Personal Services Association (WPSA)
Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
Wisconsin Public Health Association
Working Families Win
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)
To add your name to the growing list of supporters of Governor Doyle's "Health Care for All" plan, call (608) 266-1212.