NU Online News Service, May 25, 2004, 4:31 p.m. EDT – Wisconsin lawmakers have killed an unconventional effort to educate state officials about the plight of the uninsured.[@@]

The state Senate has rejected S.B. 482, a bill that would have required the state to eliminate health insurance for the governor and members of the legislature until voters passed a universal health insurance referendum.

When the state was not paying for health coverage for the governor and state legislators, “the moneys that would otherwise have been used to pay for their health care coverage are to be used to increase funding for prescription assistance for the elderly,” according to the bill text.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee.

Carpenter’s proposal would have eliminated 133 health insurance contracts with a total cost of about $1.3 million, or $801.60 per month per contract, according to an analysis by Vicky Pool, an official with the state Division of Executive Budget and Finance.

Links to the text of the bill and other information about the bill are on the Web at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/SB482hst.html