The Wisconsin Senate recently attached a proposal to their budget bill that would create a $15 billion tax increase to fund universal health care within the state.
The proposal is being met with both criticism and praise. The Green Bay Press-Gazette ran two guest columns yesterday -- one in favor of the plan, and one against.
Joe Leean, a former state senator and chair of the planning committee for the new health care plan, writes in his guest column:
It is the largest tax increase in state history. Because the funding for the plan is assessed on payroll, it is collected as a tax. But the naysayers are neglecting to point out that the approximate $15 billion collected for this plan eliminates more than $15 billion currently paid by businesses and consumers in insurance premiums.
Bill G. Smith, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business/Wisconsin, writes in his article:
Now, we understand that when public policy decisions are made, there are compromises. However, this is a proposal seeking to fund health care with a new payroll tax on businesses regardless of their ability to pay, regardless of their profitability and regardless of employer and employee choice.
According to Leean, "Leaders of the Republican-controlled Assembly have stated there is no way this package will pass their house."
SOURCE: "Stop Trashing State Health-Care Plan and Take a Look At It" 07/22/07
SOURCE: "Health Plan Bad Medicine for State's Economy" 07/22/07
Wisconsin capitol photo courtesy of Steve Todey via Stock.Xchng