Walker plan created a coverage gap and in 2014, resulted in 27,000 likely uninsured
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin sent a letter today to Governor Scott Walker requesting an update on the Walker Administration’s efforts to transition the approximately 63,000 Wisconsinites that he removed from BadgerCare coverage to coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace. According to figures released by the Walker Administration in July 2014, almost 27,000 Wisconsinites that Governor Walker kicked off BadgerCare had not yet obtained health coverage and were likely uninsured.
“You had promised to use Medicaid and the ACA Marketplace to cut Wisconsin’s uninsured rate in half, however it has been over a year since Wisconsin taxpayers were updated on your plan to transition former BadgerCare recipients to coverage in the federal Marketplace,” Senator Baldwin said. “As such, I ask that you immediately provide the public with another report on how many of these Wisconsinites your Administration has transitioned to date, and how many it has not.”
Senator Baldwin stressed to Governor Walker that with the January 31st deadline fast approaching for individuals to enroll in private health insurance for 2016 in the ACA Marketplace, it is critical for the public, including Wisconsin enrollment assistors, to know how many former BadgerCare recipients still need to obtain ACA coverage under the Walker plan.
Governor Walker’s plan kicked 63,000 Wisconsinites off their BadgerCare coverage, created a coverage gap, rejected a federal investment to expand Wisconsin’s successful BadgerCare program, and exposed Wisconsin taxpayers to higher costs while covering fewer people.
Last month, Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released updated projections outlining how the State of Wisconsin could have saved over $1 billion in taxpayer money over six years by accepting available federal dollars to expand Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program through the Affordable Care Act. According to LFB’s projections, about 83,000 additional Wisconsinites would gain coverage through full expansion of BadgerCare.
Governors in 31 states, including ten Republican Governors, have put progress ahead of politics by expanding Medicaid coverage to more of their low-income residents under the ACA. In the Midwest, Republican Governor’s in Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan have all accepted federal investments and are moving Medicaid expansion forward.
“While I continue to believe that you have taken Wisconsin down the wrong path with your plan to remove 63,000 Wisconsinites from BadgerCare, I remain committed to strengthening the health security of all Wisconsin families and I stand ready to work together. To ensure that the Wisconsinites who have lost BadgerCare coverage are able to obtain the insurance they need by the end of the ACA enrollment period this month, I ask that you provide an immediate public report on how many of these individuals you have successfully transitioned to ACA Marketplace coverage,” Senator Baldwin said.