Madison Office: 122 South, State Capitol  Phone: (608) 266-7745  E-mail:


April 3, 2008

Interested In a Regional
Health Care Cooperative?

Senator Harsdorf and St. Croix Economic Development
Corporation host informational session April 18 in Baldwin

St. Croix County, Wisconsin...State Senator Sheila Harsdorf and the St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) will be hosting a regional health care cooperative informational session on Friday, April 18 in Baldwin. The session will feature presenter Bill Oemichen, President of the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives.

€œHealth care coverage for workers and their families is a top issue for small businesses and their employees,€ said Harsdorf. €œCooperatives are an innovative reform measure at the state level that may be able to help those struggling with costs and access.€

The April 2008 Capital Region Business Journal called health care cooperatives €œone of the few success stories from various proposals that have come out of Madison.€

Harsdorf authored successful legislation to enable the creation of health care cooperatives. Such cooperatives enable small groups and individuals to band together to purchase health care as a group, leading to better coverage and competitive pricing. Oemichen, a native of St. Croix County, spearheaded the creation of the first statewide health care cooperative designed for farmers and agri-businesses. Health care cooperatives have drawn national attention as a model for reform.

€œExpanding health cooperatives for small businesses and the self-employed to the St. Croix Valley region is worth exploring,€ said Bill Rubin, Executive Director of the SCEDC. €œThis informational session will enable the public to learn more about benefits of a cooperative, what it would take to establish one, and how it would operate.€

The April 18 presentation will be held at the St. Croix County Agriculture Service and Education Center, 1960 Eighth Avenue, in Baldwin from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Individuals should RSVP by calling Senator Harsdorf€™s office at 1-800-862-1092 or via email at