Using typical back-of-the-envelope, context-free math, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute’s is claiming that since the cost of the extraordinarily successful bipartisan BadgerCare program has increased since it was created, that we shouldn’t have federal health insurance reform that includes a public option to end the stranglehold insurance companies have on our entire nation.
The ‘evidence’? BadgerCare spending has gone from (using WPRI’s numbers) $205.6 million in 2004 to…$194.4 million in 2006. A more-than five percent reduction.
I would guess they’d argue back that its first-year funding (in 2001) was $129 million. But the increase in spending is easily explained by the popularity of the program. More people are applying for BadgerCare because the for-profit insurance industry sector, so beloved by the likes of WPRI’s Charlie Sykes and its other scholars, has failed Wisconsin, just like it has failed the rest of America.
Reasons for BadgerCare’s popularity:
Health insurance premiums have increased at four times the rate of inflation in the past 10 years.
For-profit insurance companies are in the business of specifically denying care.
Over 75 percent of bankruptcies are due to medical costs ‘ and 80 percent of those people had health insurance when they got sick.
That WPRI is arguing against the public option is no surprise. But it’s interesting to note that while arguing against the public option for health care, WPRI is willing to exercise a public option on its polling, mainly through an appalling joint project it has announced with the taxpayer-funded University of Wisconsin.
It’s an ironic turn for an organization where Charlie Sykes is among its leading contributors (WPRI, not UW). He of anti-UW posts such as ‘Update: UW’s Culture of Death‘ and the like.
Now that the University of Wisconsin, through Ken Goldstein, is going to be conducting polling with Charlie Sykes’ right-wing Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, I won’t be surprised if one its first polls might include: ‘Should we get rid of BadgerCare?’