This Just In: Economics a Harsh Mistress

More relying on state health care programs: Growing enrollment poses funding challenges:

Enrollment in state health care programs such as BadgerCare Plus has increased by about 238,000 people – or 35% – in the past six years and is expected to rise as the economy continues to struggle.

Medicaid programs provide some level of health care to about 1 in 6 Wisconsin residents.

The state-federal program provides care to low-income families with children younger than 21, and to people who are elderly, or disabled and impoverished. It is one of the biggest programs in state government.

Enrollment reached 926,600 people last month, up from 688,500 in January 2003, when Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle took office.

How to fund the $5 billion-a-year program – which faces a deficit of about $1.4 billion through the next two-year budget – is one of the biggest long-term questions looming for the state.

Economics, she is a harsh mistress, is she not?

Allow me to propose the solution Wisconsin, and the United States, will pursue anyway: Legislative Magick. Don’t ask how it works; unless your a legislator/magician 14th/13th level, you wouldn’t understand.