Why was Sen. Vinehout the only Democratic senator to vote against Badger Basic?
Because the program was flawed from the beginning and provided only the ‘promise’ of inexpensive health insurance to people. A audit (which I amended the bill to require) later confirmed all of my criticism of the bill when it passed.
Yes, I was the only Democratic senator to vote against Badger Basic. I knew at the time the vote would be used against me in a campaign. I would be portrayed as being against extending health care to more lower income people. (It should be clearly understood that Badger Basic was proposed by Gov. Doyle as a supplementary program to BadgerCare, the state’s primary health care program for low income families. BadgerCare itself was not affected.)
I did not vote “no” on Badger Basic because I was against providing health care to lower income people. My commitment to extending access to health care is strong and clear. I stood by Healthy Wisconsin which would have extended health care to everyone (not just the poor) in a reasonable and well thought out way long after our party leaders told us never to mention Healthy Wisconsin again in public.
No, I voted against Badger Basic because it was a fraud and a sham and doomed to failure. The numbers were fanciful. Does anyone really believe that you can have a “self-sustaining” health care program with no tax dollars involved that costs each participant only $130 a month? If we can perform that magic trick we should expand it to everyone, immediately solve the health care problem in this country and all sleep more peacefully at night.
The audit of Badger Basic that was released recently confirms all the predictions I made in the debate on the Senate floor and in the newspaper column I wrote at the time.