“It's our responsibility as a society to make sure that nobody goes without health care. People who are sick shouldn't have to worry about how to pay the bills. They should focus on becoming healthy. Fixing health care is my passion. Healthcare is more than a right. It is a moral obligation of civilized society to all of its members.”
–Kathleen Vinehout


The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay. Wisconsin needs to accept Medicaid expansion, cover 79,000 more people and have about $286 million in cash to spend on other needs such as mental health and substance abuse programs.

We must create a Wisconsin based marketplace. The Badger Health Benefits plan that I have authored in four different legislative sessions would, under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, give Wisconsin the ability to assure patients and providers that our healthcare system will be stable despite changes at the federal level.

In addition, our own marketplace could use the state’s regulatory authority to review, justify, and if necessary, stop rate increases, keeping plans affordable for small businesses and those who buy insurance on their own.

Further, creating our own marketplace provides Wisconsin the vehicle to offer BadgerCare as a public option, something Minnesota’s governor proposed in his last budget.

Solving Wisconsin’s health care crisis has been at the top of my list since I first ran in 2006. In 2007, before the ACA, I was one of three Senate authors of Healthy Wisconsin, a plan that covered everyone in our state. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called the changes to health insurance I was able to pass, “the most extensive in a decade”.  Fixing health care is my passion. I won’t rest till it’s done.


Read More About This Topic in Kathleen's Columns


2007-06-27 Senate Health Care Plan Released

2011-10-11 Exchange Tackles Rising Health Care Costs

2007-09-18 Look at the Bottom Line

2012-07-02 Fix Health Care, Grow Jobs

2008-01-30 Finding Common Ground and Moving Forward

2013-02-05 Health Insurance: #1 Challenge to Small Business Owners

2008-08-20 Steps Toward Health Care Reform Part Two

2013-11-12 Why Do Minnesotans Pay Less for Health Care than Wisconsinites?

2009-01-14 What We Do Now is Ridiculously Expensive!

2015-08-26 Health Still a Top Political Issue

2009-02-11 Five Point Health Plan Progresses

2017-03-29 Health Care: What's Next?

2009-08-21 Is it Rationing or is it Better Health Care?

2018-01-27 Excerpts from speech at Health Care Forum in Viroqua

2009-12-09 Making Health Insurance Affordable One Step at a Time

2018-03-07 One Step Moves Us Forward

2011-01-25Fixing Medicaid