Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Healthy Wisconsin Low ball estimates

Every few days I read another article showing why Healthy Wisconsin will make Wisconsin sick-

The more Healthy Wisconsin is subjected to the bright light of public debate and analysis, the more it looks like a train wreck in the making for Wisconsin business.

We are being decieved by low ball estimates from the Healthy Wisconsin supporters-

Senate Democrats and the concept's author, David Riemer, have relied for fiscal soundness on the Lewin Group, a leading consulting health care firm. Riemer hired Lewin, so let's assume its analysis was a less-than-harsh assessment of the cost for his sweeping reform.

The payroll tax to fund Healthy Wisconsin has been pegged at 14.5% - 4% from every employee in the state and 10.5% from the employer.


Now, 14.5% is a big number, but it's not the whole story.

On page 57 of the final Lewin Report, the initial payroll tax percentages are shown as 11.55% for the employer and 3.95% for the employee. That's 15.5% going in, not 14.5%.

The 15.5% is just a starting point, our taxes will continue to climb and climb under the Healthy Wisconsin program-

Further, Lewin projects continual increases through 2017. Its projection shows the employer at 13.51% in 2017 and the employee at 4.62%. That's a whopping total of 18.13% in 10 years.

Don't forget- these costs will also continue to rise as you continue to make more and more money each year.

Jon Rauser of the Rauser Agency, an insurance brokerage, told the MMAC audience that the cost differential between a low deductible plan at $250 and a medium deductible plan at $1,000 is 25.3%.

He pulled that comparison by looking at premiums of five big health plans. You would think that the actuaries for those plans know what they are doing.

"Isn't it curious that when the Wisconsin Health Plan (Riemer I) morphed into Healthy Wisconsin (Riemer II) that the cost didn't go up?" observed Rauser.

That means, of course, that the 15.5% and 18.1% under Riemer I are low-balling the full costs under Riemer II. In short, forget about the 14.5% estimate. It ain't going to happen.

Healthy Wisconsin will make Wisconsinites sick.

H/T AFP blog

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