ON-Lion Letter
The proposed "Healthy Wisconsin" universal health-care program would likely result in an influx of people seeking care into Wisconsin.  Many of these people may have chronic, serious, and costly health-care problems. 

An influx like this would result in a significant, unbudgeted burden on Wisconsin taxpayers, according to a January report from The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI), Expected Migration Impacts of the Healthy Wisconsin Program.  It could also reduce health-care quality overall as measures
are taken to help control cost overruns.

"Calling to mind the welfare migration problem the state was confronted by nearly 25 years ago," notes the report, by migration expert Richard J. Cebula and David Dodenhoff, "Wisconsin stands on the verge of another migration controversy, driven this time by the Healthy Wisconsin program."

If the program were to become law in 2009, their study finds, an additional 143,000 people would be drawn to the state over the next six years "by the prospect of readily available health insurance, or would remain in the state so as not to lose their Healthy Wisconsin coverage.

"[T]he annual -- and currently unbudgeted -- cost of adding these 143,000 individuals to Healthy Wisconsin would be $550 million" in 2007 dollars, they conclude.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports WPRI.
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