08.20.14

U.S Senator Tammy Baldwin: Walker Plan Is Not Working for Wisconsin

38,000 Wisconsinites Unaccounted for, Taxpayers Exposed to Higher Costs

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today called on Governor Walker to account for the 38,000 Wisconsinites who he terminated from BadgerCare coverage and who now face a coverage gap.

On July 16th, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services released a report that revealed Walker’s plan to terminate BadgerCare coverage for approximately 63,000 Wisconsinites has resulted in a gap in coverage.  Health care policy experts project that many of these Wisconsinites formerly served under BadgerCare are now likely uninsured. 

“It is my hope that we can both agree that this is an unacceptable outcome of your plan. Your Administration had contended that 90 percent of these individuals would successfully transition off BadgerCare to plans in the Affordable Care Act's Marketplace. However, this promise was not kept,” Baldwin said. “I am troubled by the fact that it has now been over a month and you still cannot account for nearly 38,000 Wisconsinites who were kicked off BadgerCare as a result of your plan.  As such, I urge you to immediately determine exactly how many of the 38,000 are uninsured, as well as develop a strategy to address this gap in coverage.” 

In a letter to Walker, Senator Baldwin also questioned the Governor’s insistence on pursuing his plan after the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a new report this week showing that the Governor has exposed Wisconsin taxpayers to higher costs because he has refused to accept a federal investment in the state’s Badgercare program.

“Wisconsin is paying a steep price for your insistence on putting politics ahead of progress,” Baldwin said.

For over a year, Senator Baldwin has questioned Governor Walker’s plan, which has not only created a gap in coverage and newly uninsured Wisconsinites, but also covers fewer people at a higher cost to taxpayers.

As a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial pointed out today, “Wisconsin would have saved $206 million over two years if the Walker administration had chosen to accept a full expansion of federal funding for BadgerCare, according to a new nonpartisan report. The state could have saved more than $500 million over 3 1/2 years, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates, and about 87,000 more adults a month would have been served under BadgerCare Plus.”

Despite the fact the Affordable Care Act has provided health care coverage to 139,815 Wisconsinites who have signed up for private health insurance through the Marketplace, Governor Walker opposes the health reform law and has supported its repeal.  

An online copy of the letter can be found here.