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You want to lower health care costs? Try more Badgercare, group says



Gov. Scott Walker likes his plan for lowering insurance costs in Wisconsin.

The group Citizen Action of Wisconsin says there’s a better way. Kevin Kane, with the group, says simply offering the Medicaid-funded Badgercare as a public option for everyone to buy would create competition in the health insurance market.

“If we were to make it so it’s not based on your income but anybody can purchase it at cost to them, we could have a new option that is competitive, that is affordable and we know is cheaper than private insurance,” Kane said.

Kane’s group is among those critical of Walker’s plan to spend $200 million propping up private health insurance plans as a way to lower costs.

Monday, Walker said on WIZM it runs counter to his governing philosophies to have more people dependent on government programs like Badgercare.

Offering Badgercare throughout Wisconsin was proposed in legislation but is not getting a vote this week in Madison.

“Badgercare is a program that covers people in every community, in every county of Wisconsin,” Kane said, adding the program has a proven record of providing insurance at low costs.

“It doesn’t skim off the top, like many private insurance companies do, and have the ability to bargain down high health care prices from the underlying system,” he added.

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