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Healthcare expensive, cost varies largely by city, says Wisconsin report

An uneven and expensive landscape, that might be the best way to sum up a new report that takes a hard look at the cost and the quality of health insurance here in Wisconsin.

\"It's been a 224-percent increase, that's faster than student loan, that's faster than taxes. It is by far the biggest burden on individuals,\" Citizen Action of Wisconsin lead organizer Kevin Kane said.

It isn't your imagination, prices for health insurance have risen that much since the year 2000. But, even more concerning how much they swing depending on where you live in Wisconsin and without explanation.

\"This is really a big impact for not just our businesses, but for our families and their bottom-line,\" Kane said.

A Citizen Action of Wisconsin report breaks down the numbers; A single monthly premium in Rhinelander costs on average 820-dollars a month, in Milwaukee, it's 807-dollars. But, in Madison that drops to 673-dollars for the same insurer.

\"It's 1600 dollars more per employee per year than for the exact same plan in Madison,\" Kane said.

The discrepancies don't end there. According to Citizen Action, deductibles have increased nearly 160-percent. Hospitals in the Milwaukee area charge 62-percent more than the national average. And Obamacare marketplace rates are nearly $1,000 dollars higher per year in Wisconsin. Congresswoman Gwen Moore blames a lot of the costs on Wisconsin's refusal to implement the Affordable Care Act provisions.

\"Because we have not accepted the federal dollars for the expansion of Medicaid, because we have not implemented the affordable care act, we have lost the benefit,\" Moore said.

But, Governor Walker denies that saying the fallout from Obamacare is slowly being revealed.

“A lot of the claims for the last few years about how state exchange would be better, really haven't panned out and I'd think we'll see that as we continue going forward, not just here in Wisconsin but across the country,” Walker said.

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