This session, I worked very hard to lower the cost of health care. I've made it easier to for doctors to use technology and meet with their patients remotely and cut red tape that prevented patients from getting the treatments their doctors preferred. I didn't stop there.
I'm really proud of two bills I authored that became law to help improve health care options for people with no insurance or are underinsured.
More than 150,000 Wisconsinites utilize the more than 100 free and charitable clinics throughout the state each year. Currently, health care professionals are eligible for loan assistance if they agree to serve in rural or "eligible practice areas" which are tribal lands or areas with primary care or mental health shortages defined by federal law. I wanted to encourage even more doctors to serve in these clinics.
I wrote a bill that became law that expands the loan assistance program to areas with free and charitable clinics. This simple change should encourage more professionals to work at these clinics which will lead to more people being treated. Governor Evers signed my bill into law this session.
I also wanted to make sure homeless people had options for health care. I wrote a new law that removes disincentives for free and charitable clinics to serve the homeless.
Currently, the state provides liability coverage for licensed health professionals who volunteer their services to provide outpatient care at free clinics. However, a gap in the law prevents coverage when treating the homeless. This new law will help close that gap.
We are so fortunate to have many excellent doctors volunteering their time in our free and charitable clinics. Treating the homeless in free and charitable clinics should not jeopardize a volunteer doctor's liability insurance.
These new laws will help make sure that people without insurance or that are underinsured will have better options and better doctors for their health care.