Browse Category


Making Healthcare Affordable

The people of Wisconsin expect their leaders to stand with them to reduce health care costs for families and businesses so we can get our economy moving and make sure quality health care is affordable and accessible.

By working together and bringing all players to the table, Tom believes Wisconsin can maintain our commitment to providing quality health care to working and middle class families, while controlling costs to businesses and families.

With successes like BadgerCare and BadgerCare Plus, Wisconsin has long been a leader in the effort to provide health insurance coverage to those that don’t qualify for Medicaid, and ensuring that all Wisconsin children have access to quality health care.

As governor, Tom will continue to support these successful initiatives, and will fight to make sure that Wisconsin gets its fair share of federal resources so the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act works for Wisconsin working and middle class families.

Tom also strongly supports stem cell research and investing in biotechnology to ensure that Wisconsin remains a world leader in these important fields that save lives, make groundbreaking advances, and create thousands of good-paying jobs in our state.

Tom’s Plan to Put Madison on a Diet

om Barrett’s plan to Put Madison on a Diet will save Wisconsin taxpayers at least $1.1 billion and make significant reforms to change the way state government works.

The road to fiscal responsibility and budgetary solvency starts with reducing state government spending. Wisconsin needs a Governor with real and specific solutions to the problems that face our state, not gimmicks or meaningless bumper sticker slogans.

The people of Wisconsin expect elected officials to offer honest plans and straight talk, and Tom’s plan to Put Madison on a Diet does exactly that.

Tom’s plan to Put Madison on a Diet includes hundreds of millions of dollars in specific cuts.  Some examples include:

Cutting Waste

  • Work to combine state and local government employees’ purchasing power statewide:  $339 million.
  • Create incentives for BadgerCare Plus enrollees to select low-cost plans: $200 million.
  • Cut prisoner health care costs:  $9.5 million.
  • Improve financial administration and control overpriced contracts:  $76 million.

Eliminate Unneeded Bureaucracy

  • Implement comprehensive Sunset Review system of all regulatory program, commissions and boards.  Texas realized a $37 return for each $1 invested in this initiative.
  • Right-size state workforce, reduce middle management and limit high-priced contractors:  $34 million.
  • Eliminate the offices of Secretary of State and State Treasurer:  $1 million.

Improving Efficiency

  • Move Wisconsin state government into the 21st Century with technological upgrades:  $175 million.

Fighting Fraud

  • Crack down on Medicaid billing fraud: $35.9 million.

In addition to these specific cuts, Tom will implement a top-to-bottom performance review of all major state operations.  In several other states, these efforts have yielded hundreds of millions in spending reductions.  Iowa, California, Texas and Michigan, for example, all performed such reviews and identified billions in savings.

To ensure compliance with his top-to-bottom performance review, Tom will require all Cabinet Secretaries, Department Directors, appointees and all other high-level officials to sign performance contracts with specific goals and measures tailored to their department or agency.  These “executive contracts” will provide a clear and measurable way to communicate priorities to agency secretaries and department heads and ensure accountability.

Tom’s complete plan to Put Madison on a Diet is projected to produce at least $1.127 billion per year in savings for the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

Tom has been a leader on cutting wasteful spending.  As Mayor of Milwaukee, he reduced the general City workforce by more than 400, sold more than 100 city vehicles, held Milwaukee’s spending below that of other comparably-sized U.S. cities, and cut $32 million in spending in the last year alone to balance an unexpected budget shortfall caused by the national economic crisis.

In addition to saving more than $1.1 billion in taxpayer money, Tom’s plan also includes a commitment to reforming the budget process with sound rules and policies that will ensure smarter, long-term planning and sustainable budgets that are results based.  Examples include Tom’s pledge to only submit and sign budgets that are truly balanced, as defined by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, and eliminating wasteful pork projects tucked into the budget.

Making Madison Work

Tom’s plan to Put Madison on a Diet also includes a package of reform proposals to increase openness and accountability in Madison and make state government work better for the people of Wisconsin.  Some examples include:

  • Mandate online reporting of lobbyist meetings with elected officials within 48 hours.
  • End the revolving door between the legislature and lobbyists.
  • Eliminate the pension enhancer for all elected officials, political appointments, and top executive branch officials.
  • Keep compensation and sick/leave accrual for state employees in line with the private sector.
  • Bring State Government to taxpayers in all corners of Wisconsin, not just Madison.

Download Tom’s complete plan to Put Madison on a Diet.