Thursday, July 19, 2007

Live blogging interview with Senator Wirch and Senator Erpenbach

Live blogging interview with Senator Wirch and Senator Erpenbach on WLIP 1050AM on Healthy Wisconsin.

Currently small talk is taking place

9:57am- more small talk- interview to start after the top of the news.

Both men will be given the opportunity to explain their positions before the questions begin. No one will be allowed to call in and ask questions.

Lenny Palmer made his position clear- he is against this program all together. Sweeping health care plan


Erpenbach's position: The governor support is luke-warm at best. We build on the governor's plan of Badgercare Plus. The governor's plan does not go far enough. Health care costs are too high.

Wirch- thousands declaring bankruptcy because of health care costs
Health care costs are above the national average by 26 percent.

Erpenbach: the UAW is suffering cutbacks to healthcare.

Why do they not control costs with insurance companies?

Erpenbach: Hospitals freak out, but the Democrats still have a plan. We had free market competition and it did not work.

Lenny asked the question again.

Erpenbach: Healthy Wisconsin is pooling the risk. We are saving companies money and individuals money.

Still the question not answered.

Now debating the demographics. 400,000 uninsured- but Erpenbach disagrees.

Lenny askes: Have you done your homework- how many of these folks do not want insurance?

Erpenbach: not everyone does not want it-some cannot afford it.

Teachers exempt?

Erpenbach is stating that teachers are in the program when the QEO is waived????

Erpenbach: QEO is wrong!

Firefighters, and police cannot strike- why are teachers the only exemption?

Wirch: Insurance companies refusing to cover people.

Erpenbach: Does not agree with Wirch- everyone does have access to healthcare, they just cannot afford it- so they don't go.

Erpenbach: there is no competition in health care- they all want to be rich. Insists that Democrats will save people money.

Wirch: the high cost of co-pays, high cost of deductible, penalties for improper use emergency will keep people from abusing the system. (I cannot believe he just said that! He is admitting the program is expensive????)

Erpenbach: State board will control administration of plan, appointed by governor. He promises that the board will be balanced- the Senate will make sure of it.

Will these be political positions?

Erpenbach: Yes- these are political positions controlled by governor.(apparently, we have learned nothing from the State Elections board debacle)

Who qualifies?

Define gainfully employed.

Erpenbach: The board will be defining gainfully employed. It depends on how the board defines it. He personally believes that people working more than 30 hours a week- but board can change this.

This plan is encourages part time employment. Now Erpenbach is stating that gainfully employed could be defined as part time. He doesn't know how it will be defined.

Wirch: complaining that people are beating up on their plan. they are losing coming and going.

Erpenbach: Yes, illegal immigrants will be covered. At least if they are working, they are will be paying, so they are covered. (no hesitation)

Personal responsibility?

Erpenbach: health care is not affordable, that is why the government has to take it- but it is still not government run. employees will control

Can doctors opt out?

Erpenbach: No. Doctors will not run- they are going to happy that they are insured.

Can citizens opt out?

Erpenbach: No

Medicare- doctors don't want to treat patients

Erpenbach: This isn't Medicare. Doctors will love this because people have coverage

Wirch wanted to talk about underinsured. Erpenbach shut Wirch down.(kinda funny)

Lenny askes about this program and why folks from other states won't move

Erpenbach: nothing prevents this from happening.

Lenny is mad!

Erpenbach- Yes- people can come across the border and get free health care. They would get it anyway under Badger care.

Erpenbach: this plan is cheap.

Wirch: this still enforces personal responsibility with deductable and such (so I guess it isn't cheap???)

Erpenbach: self insured will pay 10%- $40,000 a year will cost you $400 a month for healthcare.( this is cheap? BTW, This would be mandatory)

Erpenbach: this will attract new small business.

Wirch: babbling about an individuals costs that went up 19%

Erpenbach: Businesses will bang down the doors to get here. This levels the playing field.

Erpenbach: wants to put this on the governor's desk.

Wirch: this may not be the best program, but at least we want to do something- Republicans do not(even mentioned Reince)

Has there been any polling?

Erpenbach: it is a liberal pollster, but everybody loves this- 67%, People in Middleton(just outside of Madison) really love this.

Basically- the Democrats are insisting that business loves this and will save money.

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