Wisconsin is regularly ranked one of the best states in the nation for access and quality of healthcare. Indeed, Wisconsin has one of the lowest rates of uninsured citizens in the country. Any reform or modernization proposal must consider these factors. That is why I am ardently opposed to any government-run healthcare scheme like Democrats' Healthy Wisconsin.
We need to modernize our healthcare delivery to take advantage of current technology to empower both physicians and patients. We need to encourage healthcare providers to disclose their pricing policies to allow patients to be more connected to the cost of the services they receive. Coupled to very popular plans like Health Savings Accounts, disclosure could lead to greater competition in the healthcare sector, benefitting patients as they seek the most qualified physicians and the highest quality of care. I supported several measures this past legislative session that would have brought greater transparency to healthcare costs.
Waukesha County has one of the highest rates of insured residents. What we need to do is to continue to find ways to drive cost down; Waukesha residents want relief from increasing healthcare costs, not higher taxes and less control over their healthcare decisions. To this end, I support tax deductibility for healthcare premiums -- the amount that patients pay to receive services in addition to the insurance coverage that is paid for by their employer.
Ideas like these can help alleviate the costs of healthcare both for larger businesses, but more importantly, the small businesses and the self-employed.
Healthcare costs are hurting Waukesha businesses. Like high taxes, they hurt their global competitiveness. Plans like the union-supported, government-run Healthy Wisconsin only shift costs and do nothing to alleviate and reform the underlying reasons for high healthcare costs.
Don't be fooled by phrases like, "access to affordable healthcare"; these are focus-group tested terms predicated upon greater government involvement in the healthcare decisions which should rightfully be between you and your physician.
A government takeover of our healthcare system would raise taxes in the state by $16-$18 billion in the first two years alone, and according to actuarial studies by proponents of such schemes, would actually lead to ever-increasing taxes on Waukesha and Wisconsin families. Plans like these hurt our local job creators and families and would devastate our state's economy and reduce our ability to create jobs.