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Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 -- 9:50 AM

By Mike Warren

Democrats are calling for action sooner than later on an affordable healthcare plan for Wisconsin. State Representative Amy Sue Vruwink (D-Milladore) held a community meeting on the subject Monday night at U-W Marshfield.

Democrats have introduced a bill which calls for healthcare financing reforms by 2008. The legislators want coverage for at least 98-percent of Wisconsinites, and a 15% decrease in price.

"This is something everyone will have to come in on," Vruwink says of the plan. "Employers will have to pay a certain amount, employees have to pay a certain amount. Everybody will be paying, but everyone will be covered."

Vruwink introduced a recent survey that showed the average annual premium for employer-sponsored healthcare coverage is now more than $4,000 for one person, and more than ten-grand for a family of four.

Since 2000, the cost of health insurance coverage for employers has risen 73% -- easily outpacing the 14% rate of inflation.

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