NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 2, 2007

Wisconsin State Rep. Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis), has a plan that would offer state-sponsored health insurance for veterans whose incomes are too high for government coverage but don't have insurance through an employer, says the Appleton Post-Crescent.

But Rep. Staskunas' plan is lacking in several areas, says the Post-Crescent:

  • He cites a study that says 1.7 million U.S. veterans met those criteria in 2003 but has no idea how many live in Wisconsin.
  • Despite this lack of crucial information, he's said $15 million is needed in the next budget to fund the program.

If this idea were for anyone other than veterans, it would probably be laughed out of the Legislature.  Veterans surely deserve health coverage.  But they get it through the military and Department of Veterans Affairs, says the Post-Crescent.  It isn't a state's job to care for federal workers, no matter how noble their profession is, especially when the state doesn't have much loose change lying around.

If veterans aren't properly cared for after being discharged, then lobby the federal government to take responsibility.  Don't pass it on to the state, says the Post-Crescent.

Doing something "for the veterans" these days is as hard to refuse as doing something "for the children."  That doesn't, however, automatically make it a good idea.

Source, Editorial, "Editorial: It's not state's job to provide health insurance to veterans," Appleton Post-Crescent, March 30, 2007.


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