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Report says healthcare costs are high in Rhinelander, Central Wisconsin


RHINELANDER, WI (WXPR) -  The pro-Democratic policy group Citizen Action Wisconsin is out with it's annual report on Wisconsin health care... how much it costs... and how good is the care. The report says the small community of Rhinelander has the fifth-highest healthcare costs in the state.  Additionally, the report says Milwaukee and Racine have the most expensive care in the state.  Second is Eau Claire.  La Crosse is third, followed by the central Wisconsin group including Wausau, Marshfield, Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids.

Executive Director Robert Kraig says as Obamacare is implemented over the next two years, it should help to reduce rapidly rising health costs.  "This is very important information that can help us make the health insurance exchanges work to transform the marketplace in Wisconsin over time, and bring these rampaging health care costs and health insurance premiums under control."

Congressman Ron Kind is on the U.S. House Ways and Means subcommittee on Health. Kind says one of the reports more shocking aspects is the skyrocketing costs of health insurance and medical costs since 2000. Kind says we have to change the way we pay for healthcare.  "We're paying for the value of the quality of care that's given and not the volume of services that are rendered.  This report again points out huge cost variation and the quality of results coming from that from around the state.  It is ironic there is a correlation between higher cost plans and lower quality outcomes."

Madison has the lowest health care costs in the state by a wide margin.

The full report is at:  https://www.box.com/s/aa1kiaj9o7pa3f1eitjp.

Citizen Action Wisconsin is on record supporting many programs and policies of the Democratic Party and is often critical of Republican policies.