Monday, September 18, 2006

Mark Green: Putting Uninsured Wisconsin Kids Last

Last month I wondered whether Mark Green would support Governor Doyle's plan to expand the BadgerCare program in Wisconsin.

I figured there was a chance the answer would be "yes." After all, the proposal will widen access to health care for the 91,000 Wisconsin children who currently lack it, and it would also combine the family Medicaid, BadgerCare, and Healthy Start programs in order to reduce administrative costs for the state by $20 million per year.

Here's how GOP State Senator Carol Roessler (R-Oshkosh) described the plan: "What is being proposed here is collapsing pools of money to make them go a better distance, help more people and make a more effective delivery system."

But when the Journal Sentinel asked Congressman Green about expanding the program, his response was as vague as it was ideologically-driven: "[R]ather than expanding government-run health care as Jim Doyle has proposed, I believe we should look for ways to make health care more affordable in the private sector."

So Congressman Green, if elected governor, would scrap a well-developed proposal that has bipartisan legislative support in order to "look for ways" through the private sector to provide health care to over 90,000 Wisconsin kids who currently lack it.

And Congressman Green is so ideological that he opposes the plan simply because it would be orchestrated by the state, which, ironically, he wants to be elected to run.

Of course, Green didn't offer any ideas for how the ambiguous "private sector" could (let alone would) magically provide health care for the thousands of uninsured kids in Wisconsin, probably because there aren't any. But he's willing to look, which means the kids will just need to wait.

So much for "putting Wisconsin kids first."

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