UPDATE: Wis. gov vetoes tobacco surcharge

UPDATED: July 1, 2013 --- 6:18 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker has vetoed his own plan to charge state workers more for health insurance if they smoke.

Walker's executive state budget would have required state workers who smoke to pay $50 more per month for health insurance. Walker's administration said the extra charge was necessary because health care is more expensive for tobacco users.

But Walker used his partial veto powers to erase the plan from the final budget he signed Sunday.

Walker's veto message says new federal guidance on tobacco surcharges was issued after he drew up the fee plan that would make the program too cumbersome. For example, Walker wrote, a smoker could avoid the fee by joining a cessation program.

A Walker spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

______________________________________________________

Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013 --- 10:56 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Anti-smoking advocates say a $50-a-month health insurance surcharge for state workers who smoke is the wrong approach to getting smokers to quit.

Gov. Scott Walker is proposing the surcharge as part of his biennial budget proposal.

Smoke Free Wisconsin, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids don't support the smoking fee.

They argue there is little scientific evidence to show financial incentives or disincentives cause someone to quit smoking. The groups say the state should instead use smoke-free laws, tobacco prevention and cessation programs and cigarette taxes.

State Department of Administration spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis tells the State Journal smokers cost a third more to insure than non-smokers. She says the fee will affect 10 percent of the state workforce and will save $2.7 million over two years.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
NBC15 615 Forward Drive Madison, Wisconsin 53711 Business: 608-274-1515 Newsroom: 608-274-1500
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 193861721 - nbc15.com/a?a=193861721