On this page you will find information about bills I authored and introduced this past legislative session. Despite the do-nothing legislature that was run by the Republican Caucus in the assembly, I worked to author and promote bills to help fix real world problems. I hope you will take a look around to see what I have worked toward during my first term in the Assembly. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
People, or I should say politicians love to talk about healthcare costs. It's no wonder, with tight family budgets all over Wisconsin, healthcare costs are eating up more and more of our pay. What makes me different is that I have done more that just talk about reforming healthcare. During my first term in the assembly I authored real world, common sense proposals to lower healthcare costs. There are steps we can and should take to help people all over Southwester Wisconsin get healthcare they can afford.
Please take a look at a few of the bills I have authored and supported during my first term. We already had some great successes, like passing BadgerCare Plus, so that now every child in Wisconsin has access to healthcare their family can afford. We also have more work to do. My bill AB 748 received a favorable review from the Healthcare Reform Committee, but we ran out of time before it could be brought to a vote.
I believe that everyone is Wisconsin deserves access to healthcare they can afford. There is no silver bullet solution. Instead increasing access to affordable healthcare and lowering costs for everyone will take many steps, some larger than others. This past session I have supported big and small steps alike. It's important to keep the goal in mind, and then we can make practical and effective decisions that make healthcare more and more affordable.
Assembly bill 748 – The State's Unpaid Tab
I authored and introduced this bill to make sure people have access to affordable healthcare, and make sure those with private medical insurance aren't picking up the State's unpaid tab. The way things are now everyone in the community loses. We either lose access to medical treatment or we have to pay more for the care we do get.
Doctors and dentists who see MA patients often get a nasty surprise. They quickly realize that what they are paid to see those patients doesn't even cover their costs, meaning they lose money on everyone they see. This means that either they choose not to take MA patients or they pass the additional costs on to other people. This proposed tax credit would have made it possible for doctors and dentist to treat MA patients without loosing money. It would be a win-win situation for everyone.
This proposal received a good hearing, and lots of support from the committee but we ran out of time before it was brought to a formal vote. I look forward to introducing this bill again next year. It represents a small step that has bi-partisan support that would have real world benefits for everyone in our community. This is exactly the kind of approach I bring to Madison, real world common sense solutions.
AB 779 Cooperative Student Healthcare Act
Professor Kim Hixson (D-Whitewater) and I co-authored and introduced this bill together. It was designed to help college students get access to affordable healthcare. It is a creative and fresh approach to the problem that would keep taxpayers out of the equation. I Look forward to working toward getting a hearing on this bill next year. This bill will help setup a frame work for a non-taxpayer funded student healthcare cooperative to help all student get access to affordable quality healthcare. Education is one of the best investment we can make, unfortunately for some would-be students lack of access to affordable healthcare keeps them for earning a college degree. More college graduates benifit the entire community, and we can help fix this roadblock to education. I hope this measure can help people earn a college degree, and get a higher paying job and a brighter future.
The Push to Save SeniorCare:
Shortly after getting to Madison I learned that the Bush Administration had decided to cut off funding for Wisconsin's popular and cost effective senior prescription drug benefit program called SeniorCare. Wisconsin seniors and tax payers deserved better care than Medicare Part D. We had proven that SeniorCare served seniors better, and at a lower cost to the taxpayer and senior citizen alike, than Part D could. It was just crazy that Secretary Leavitt and the Bush Administration were willing to take this program away from us.
I lobbied the Bush administration to allow Wisconsin's SeniorCare to continue to operate. I launched a petition drive and collected thousands of signatures that were delivered to President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Leavitt. There was a huge effort all across Wisconsin to keep SeniorCare alive. At the end of the day a strong team effort saved SeniorCare.
AB- 24 Getting a Fair deal for Farmers and Small Business Owners
This was the first bill I supported after I was elected. It was aimed at providing farmers and their families' access to affordable health insurance. As things are now farmers and small business owners don't get a fair deal. I authored this bill to stop the Department of Health and Family Services from treating farmers and small business owners less fairly than non-farmers. Though this bill didn't pass I look forward to working for a fair shake for our farmers and small business owners. It's just not right to put farmers at a disadvantage.