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Healthy Wisconsin author says he'll try get plan passed despite Doyle opposition

The author of the Healthy Wisconsin universal health plan says he'll try again to get it passed next year, even though his own party's governor opposes it.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Waunakee, says he won't run from what he believes, especially since his party now controls both houses of the Legislature.

But Doyle has repeatedly shied away from the tax-funded Healthy Wisconsin plan, ever since all 18 Senate Democrats voted a year and one-half ago to put it in the state budget.

Now, Doyle says President-elect Barack Obama will take pressure off the idea that a state should reform health care on its own.

The governor says Wisconsin should wait to see how Obama and his fellow Democratic leaders in Congress address the issue.

Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, says some kind of improved health care access will be approved in the next session but Healthy Wisconsin won't be it.

Doyle says the state can hardly afford the cost with a deficit in the next budget that's estimated at more than $5 billion.

Healthy Wisconsin would have cost employers and their workers $15 billion in new taxes the first year.

Republicans called it one of the largest state tax increases in U.S. history.

The plan's supporters said it's still less than what we're paying now for the fractured private system.