Last week, I wrote a commentary detailing how, rather than keeping health care costs down, government programs usually grow much more rapidly than expected. As an example, I used the BadgerCare program, which, after implementation in 1997, grew much faster than anyone anticipated. Within several years, the Legislature had to start scaling back benefits in order to keep the program going after membership in the program doubled in the span of 6 years.
Today, we get news that Governor Doyle’s new “BadgerCare Plus” program is suddenly short on cash. As a result, new registrants to the program will be suspended, leading to waiting lists of up to 20,000 people, by Doyle’s own estimate.
Ironically, this rationing of government health care leads Doyle to the head-scratching conclusion that somehow what we need is MORE government health care:
The heavy demand for the program over the last 3½ months highlights the need for national health care reform, Doyle said.
“I believe we must make sure that people have health insurance,” Doyle said. “We have done everything we can in Wisconsin. We have stretched all boundaries and still there are people falling through the cracks.”
So on the SAME DAY he announces his own health care rationing, Doyle calls for even more of the same, only at the federal level. As if this new federal program would contradict the evidence that his own state program has provided us – that such a program would do nothing to keep costs down, and only serve to drain citizens of their tax dollars. This is like arguing that the problem with the corrupt Wisconsin Shares program is that it isn’t adequately funded.