Monday, April 23, 2007

Governor Doyle Proclaims "Cover the Uninsured Week"

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle has proclaimed the week of April 23, 2007 as "Cover the Uninsured Week" in Wisconsin. In his budget, the Governor announced his bold health care reform agenda to make comprehensive health care coverage more affordable and ensure access to 98 percent of Wisconsin citizens.

"By expanding health coverage to children and adults, and helping reduce the cost for hardworking families, we plan to make Wisconsin America's health care leader," Governor Doyle said. "At least 98 percent of our citizens will have access to health care coverage - more than any other state in the nation."

The Governor's BadgerCare Plus program will streamline Medicaid, BadgerCare and Healthy Start into one comprehensive program. The plan will offer health coverage to every child and more pregnant women in Wisconsin. Low-income families would simply enroll their children into BadgerCare Plus, while families at higher incomes would be able to buy into the program, starting at about $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 is creating a purchasing pool to help businesses - particularly small businesses - afford catastrophic health coverage for employees.

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.

A copy of the proclamation is available at:

For more information about BadgerCare Plus, visit:

Also noteworthy today, as part of his budget Governor Doyle proposed requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for autistic children. Today Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson introduced similar legislation that would require group insurance policies to provide treatment and care for children with autism spectrum disorders.

Governor Jim Doyle made the following statement supporting this proposal:

"We have a special and sacred obligation to all the children of our state. This proposal will help provide the care and support that children across our state living with autism need and deserve.

"I hope the Legislature will work in a bipartisan way and side with the children and families living with this disease, and not with the big insurance companies."

Autism treatment services are already covered by insurers in Kentucky and Indiana and resulted in a less than 1% percent bump in insurance premiums in those states.


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