Statement from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin on Governor Walker’s New BadgerCare Proposal
Washington DC – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin made the following statement regarding Governor Walker’s new BadgerCare proposal.
“I supported building a Wisconsin-made, state-based Health Insurance Marketplace for individuals and small businesses and I joined others in encouraging the Walker Administration to take that path. State-run marketplaces are working across the country and enrolling people but Governor Walker chose to rely on the federal government’s website. In fact, 74 percent of the enrollments in the Marketplace so far have come from states that chose to build their own state-based marketplaces. Unfortunately, Wisconsin wasn’t one of them because Governor Walker refused to build a state-based marketplace for our state.
“I also urged the Governor to seize the opportunity to strengthen our BadgerCare program by accepting a federal partnership and investment to expand Medicaid with the Affordable Care Act. Again, Governor Walker refused and chose to make Wisconsin one of just two states that are set to kick a large number of individuals off their current Medicaid coverage in 2014. In the past month, as states across the nation, including our Midwestern neighbors, accepted the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, 400,000 Americans have gained health coverage through Medicaid.
“In Wisconsin, we are paying a price for Governor Walker’s decisions and the problems with the federal website. I am encouraged that Governor Walker has listened to my call to ensure that Wisconsinites with BadgerCare coverage today will not lose the health care they need at the start of the year. However, the Governor’s new proposal breaks the promise he made in his budget and leaves upwards of 80,000 low-income Wisconsinites out in the cold.
“It doesn’t have to be this way and the solution I proposed is a stronger path forward for our state. The Governor should accept the federal investment to strengthen BadgerCare offered by the Affordable Care Act. That would ensure a 100 percent federal reimbursement covering all newly-eligible individuals, including the over 80,000 Wisconsinites that the Governor is leaving out of the BadgerCare program. The Governor could even accept this deal temporarily - for a year or through the end of the open enrollment period in March. These cost savings would allow the Governor to offset any additional costs of continuing BadgerCare coverage for current enrollees. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau has found that this path I have proposed would cover more people and save the state money. It’s disappointing that Governor Walker has chosen not to take it.”
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