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Think tank says 142,000 would flock to state if universal coverage adopted

A state think tank says the sick and the insurable would flock to Wisconsin if the state passes its proposed tax-funded health plan.

The Policy Research Institute predicts that 142,000 people would move to the Badger State if Healthy Wisconsin passes.

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Weston, has said that a modified version of the universal health plan would be introduced this session.

That's after a $15 billion overhaul failed two years ago.

But Gov. Jim Doyle has already said he would not approve universal health care this year and he wants to see what President Obama does nationally.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, who tried to get Healthy Wisconsin into current state budget, called the Institute's claim "nuts."

He says other states that offer health insurance to the poor have not had big influxes of new people.

Erpenbach also says his plan would make the unemployed wait a year to get coverage. But the Policy Research Institute says a waiting period may be unconstitutional.