Healthcare For All
Support the BadgerCare Public Option Bill

Support the BadgerCare Public Option Bill

Contact your state legislators and urge them to co-sponsor the BadgerCare Public Option Bill!


Our country’s health care system is driven by profit, prioritizing the interests of private corporations like insurance companies over the health and well-being of the American people. For too many Wisconsinites, high quality, affordable health coverage is simply out of reach. Even before the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites lived without health coverage for at least part of the year. In 2019, 408,000 Wisconsinites were uninsured for all or part of the year, 157,000 of whom were uninsured the entire year.

Too many of us are uninsured because we cannot afford the monthly costs.Others among us live in places where there are too few coverage options available. But for too many people, the only plans they can afford have such high deductibles and co-pays that it would be unaffordable to use the plan. People in this situation may choose to go uninsured rather than pay for coverage they cannot afford to use. Others will buy these low quality plans, but never go to the doctor, seek care, or fill their prescriptions. We call these folks under-insured.

Moreover, private insurance companies continually raise their costs, squeezing out pocketbooks and contributing to skyrocketing medical debt. Every year, premiums and co-pays increase, deductibles get larger, and the amount that insurance companies will cover for procedures decreases. These rising health care costs are a hidden, insidious way of denying care to all but the wealthiest few in our community. Citizen Action believes that health care is a human right and that constantly rising health care costs that prevent people from getting the care they need is a fundamental violation of that right. By contrast, public health coverage plans, like BadgerCare, keep health care costs down – including insurance prices, prescription drug costs, and hospital bills – because of the government’s ability to negotiate and set fair rates for the care their clients receive.


Citizen Action of Wisconsin is fighting to shift power away from wealthy insurance corporations and into the hands of the people. We believe that health coverage should be:

  • In public hands
  • Driven by our health, not profits
  • Universal, affordable, simple to use, and readily available
  • Inclusive and comprehensive (including medicines, medical equipment, vision/dental/hearing care, reproductive care, mental health care, harm reduction and treatment for substance misuse, preventive care, long-term care, and home and community based care)
  • Equitable across race, gender, ability, and region

Wisconsin can move toward this vision of universal, affordable, equitable, and high quality health coverage through passing the BadgerCare Public Option Bill. This is the only bill introduced in the state legislature that comprehensively takes on the issue of rising and unaffordable health care costs.

Contact your state legislators and urge them to co-sponsor the BadgerCare Public Option Bill!

The BadgerCare Public Option Bill would:

  • Create an inexpensive, high quality BadgerCare Public Option health care plan that would be available for purchase on the ACA marketplace by all Wisconsinites, regardless of income-level. The plan would be administered through BadgerCare and include very low cost-sharing provisions, including significantly lower premiums than private insurance plans and very small co-pays. The Public Option plan would also be available on the small group marketplace so that small businesses and nonprofits could for the first time afford to offer high quality employer-sponsored coverage for their employees at an affordable rate.
  • Create a Basic Health Plan (as allowed by the Affordable Care Act) that would be available to Wisconsinites earning between 133% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Line and is separate from the Public Option. The Basic Health Plan would dramatically increase the number of lower-income people eligible for public health coverage, giving them an opportunity to purchase public coverage that is even more affordable than the BadgerCare Public Option. The Basic Health Plan would also be available to lawfully-present immigrants who with incomes below 133% of the Federal Poverty Line but who are ineligible for Medicaid because of their immigrant status.
  • Create a state-based health insurance ACA online marketplace instead of forcing Wisconsinites to enroll in health coverage through the federal ACA marketplace ( The state-based exchange will allow Wisconsin to control over promoting open enrollment periods, set our own budget and create our own plans for getting as many people to enroll in coverage as possible, and provide more support for people through the enrollment process.

Contact your state legislators
and urge them to co-sponsor the BadgerCare Public Option Bill!

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