As reported on
by Wisconsin Health News (WHN) earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) previewed health care related priorities for the Senate Republican caucus heading into next week’s budget deliberations by the Joint Finance Committee.
In addition to funding the Medicaid program’s estimated cost-to-continue of over $500 million in state general purpose revenue, LeMahieu said that the Senate Republicans will continue to invest in areas that they focused on last budget, including critical funding for Wisconsin hospitals.
“Wisconsin has very good health care, typically ranked in the top three of quality of health care provided,” said LeMahieu. “We have a very good system in place right now. We are focusing on things like reinsurance for health care stability and DSH (disproportionate share hospital) payments to make sure hospitals can afford to serve those who are on government assisted health plans.”
Following a question on the committee’s investments on mental health investments, LeMahieu said, “I think the vast majority of [budget] health items will have bipartisan support. Sometimes we may bicker over how much that dollar amount should be, but investing in long-term care facilities and DSH payments for hospitals are all very important things for mental health services.” In responding to a question by WHN Editor Tim Stumm about what excites him most about Wisconsin health care, LeMahieu said, “It’s great that Wisconsin is consistently ranked in the top three in health care; it shows how hard our hospitals and health care providers work and the climate in this state for health care providers.”
LeMahieu continued, “That is something we should be proud of here, that we have so many great hospitals and so many great organizations that are actually located in Wisconsin that provide insurance. That is something to be proud of and (we) need to make sure is continued and protected.” (see related story—WCRI: Wisconsin’s Injured Workers Satisfied with Medical Care, Return to Work Quickly)