In a piece at Urban Milwaukee, Steve Walter posits 12 Key State Budget Decisions with brief descriptions from Governor Walker’s 2017-2019 biennial Wisconsin budget and asks if we are for or against. I will take a stab at each one…one at a time:
4.Self-insure for health care: Beginning Jan. 1, should state government self-insure for health care for employees and retirees? The governor’s budget assumes that will save $60 million over 18 months, and spends that money on aid to K-12 schools and pay raises for UW System employees. Opponents of self-insuring call it risky and warn that it could end up costing much more than the current system. Yes/No
This may be risky business in that it may not pay off. As we have seen over the past few decades and in particular during the Obamacare era, health insurance is tricky. Even the professionals don’t get it right. But I have worked for a number of employers who have self-insured over the years and some that participated in a co-op of sorts. It seems to work for them.
So I vote yes on this assuming the state has the expertise or hires the expertise (and pays for the expertise they need) to run this thing right. It can’t be left to the lackeys and sycophants that Governor Walker is so fond of appointing to state departments. And if it doesn’t work…there’s always back to private insurers.
Now the side question: with the general national movement to repeal Obamacare and put health insurance back into the hands of for profit private insurance companies, where in heavens name did Governor Walker come up with this plan? Or is someone in Madison actually reading John Torinus?