State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
I am renewing my request that the chairman of the state Senate Health Committee, state Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) hold a hearing on a proposed state constitutional amendment about the approved federal government health care mandate. Senate Joint Resolution 62 (SJR 62), upon approval of voters statewide “... provides that the people have the right to enter into private contracts with health care providers for health care services and to purchase private health care coverage, and prohibits enactment of any law that requires any person to obtain or maintain health insurance coverage or to participate in any health care system or plan."
This is the single most important bill during the remainder of the legislative session. As the ranking minority member of the state Senate Health Committee, I ask that
I have officially made my request in a letter to Senator Erpenbach. What could be more bipartisan than to conduct a public hearing on this resolution before the general legislative session ends April 22, 2010. If people like the federal mandate, they can testify in support. If people do not like the unconstitutional mandate that imposes fines for failing to purchase health insurance, they can testify in opposition to the federal mandate and in support of SJR 62.
My fear is that the quality of health care will deteriorate in
Strong signs indicate that the recent proliferation of government health care in
In the very same budget that expanded BadgerCare to more population, the Doyle administration's Department of Health Services was directed to reduce medical assistance spending by $600 million. On top of that, the state has been late making Medicaid payments to hundreds of providers of care to the frail elderly and those with serious disabilities.
The BadgerCare debacle, cutting $600 million in government health care expenditures, and the $955 million Family Care Program are three known medical assistance problems. Yet, a state audit of Medical Assistance requested by Republican state Senator Rob Cowles and I is being stopped at every turn by Democrats.
In addition, an audit just released by the Legislative Audit Bureau found a $109 million shortfall in the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund, the state’s medical malpractice fund. To balance the 2007-09 state budget, $200 million was raided from the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund to balance the 2007-09 state budget.
We all read about the massive fraud in Wisconsin Shares, the childcare program. There have been major problems with the state’s food stamp program. Where there is smoke, there is fire. What's next?
I sincerely wish the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel or any other news outlet would duplicate the Journal Sentinel’s award-winning reporting on the Wisconsin Shares program that led to an audit of the state subsidized child care program. This time, the focus should be on the $6 billion state Medical Assistance program. Imagine the amount of fraud and waste that could be uncovered by investigative reporters.
The State Legislative Audit Bureau published a scope statement for an audit of Medical Assistance. The co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee scheduled two meetings to approve a Medical Assistance audit. At both meetings Democrats obstructed the audit. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee that I serve on should, as I have requested, schedule an audit of Medical Assistance to determine the scope of inefficiency in one of the state’s largest programs. A full-blown audit by our outstanding Legislative Audit Bureau would provide clear answers. Ongoing problems with unaffordable programs that the state continues to expand must stop.
Before the current general legislative session expires in late April, I would hope the citizens of