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Madison – Governor Scott Walker released his Weekly Radio Address today titled “Self-Insurance Model More Effective and Efficient.”

Hi, Scott Walker here.

In my 2016 State of the State Address, I promised the people of Wisconsin we would look into more effective and efficient ways to provide health insurance to state employees.

Our recent budget proposal follows through on this promise. We spent more than a year examining ways to improve in this area and found that self-insurance is the best option for our state.

Wisconsin certainly wouldn’t be the first state in the nation to utilize the self-insurance model. In fact, 46 states already have some form of a self-insurance plan and nearly half of those states are fully self-insured, including our neighbor Minnesota.

This just makes sense. All across Wisconsin, employers, health care systems, schools, higher education institutions, and other businesses have successfully implemented self-insurance plans in order to make health care more affordable for their employees and stretch their dollars further.

The state can do this as well.

By moving Wisconsin to a self-insurance model, we’ll save our taxpayers at least $60 million over the budget. That’s real money. That’s real money we can invest into public education.

But only if lawmakers pass our budget proposal.

We recently submitted the successfully negotiated self-insurance third-party administrator contracts to the Joint Committee on Finance.

Now there’s talk that lawmakers plan to reject our self-insurance proposal. It would be a step in the wrong direction to dismiss $60 million worth of proven savings at a time when many are asking us to spend more money on transportation. Unless lawmakers want to cut health care coverage for state employees, we won’t realize $60 million in savings without switching to self-insurance.

Switching to the self-insurance model is a step in the right direction. And it’s backed by the experts. The Commission on Government Reform, Efficiency, and Performance recommended it, the Department of Employee Trust Funds voted for it, and 46 states are successfully using it.

We hope lawmakers agree. Please ask them to approve these contracts and to invest the savings into public education.

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