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Abele Considers Turning Over County Health Care Coverage to New Exchanges

Chris Abele/Flickr

Milwaukee County leaders are already hearing from many people who stand to be affected by funding levels represented in the proposed county budget.

County Executive Chris Abele offered his budget proposal late last month, which includes $1.3 billion dollars in spending with no increase in property taxes.  Abele has also been in the news in recent days with a proposal to turn over health care coverage for county employees to the health exchanges included in the Affordable Care Act.

"If we can show employees that we can provide the same level of care or better and we can save money doing it, we are absolutely going to pursue that. And you know, why?  I’m always going to look to provide better care for employees and better value for taxpayers," he says.

He also says a potential contract with MV Transportation to run the county's transit might give taxpayers more service and accountability. He says the county board encouraged MCTS to submit a bid, but he says MV Transportation seems to "get it from the front end to the back end."

"There's one thing we're measuring, and that's the outcome, more rides, better fares and more service," he says.

Abele's budget also includes an expanded public safety initiative based on area-specific data, as well as the closure of two indoor pools to be replaced with splash pads and skate parks.

More of our conversation with County Executive Chris Abele.