Saturday, June 2, 2012

Badgercare and Family Care- two more bombs Walker is waiting to set off

Hidden in the campaign heat is this release from Rep. John Richards and Legal Action of Wisconsin, who are suing the state's DHS for illegally denying BadgerCare Plus to two Dane County women.
The Medicaid program for childless adults, which started in January 2009, capped enrollment that October because demand exceeded the budgeted participation of about 54,000 people. A waiting list was started, which now has more than 130,000 names.

Only 26,000 people remain in the program, as enrollment has dropped through attrition. People on the waiting list should be enrolled, advocates say.

"The assumption was that the freeze would be removed," said Jon Peacock, research director for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families.

Stephanie Smiley, spokeswoman for the state health department, said the freeze remains because the state has a projected Medicaid deficit of $82 million in state funds and $204 million overall.
But wait, I thought we had a surplus and all needs were met and there shouldn't be a problem with this? That tells you we don't, but the denial of service to deserving individuals shouldn't surprise you, because Walker's DHS has consitently tried to use a Medicaid deficit as a reason to kick people off of the rolls and into the more-expensive private insurance market.

Remember, the Walker Administration has already set up a plan to kick off 17,000 people from Badgercare, and it might have been 65,000 except that the Obama Administration told them they'd lose federal matching funds. If somehow Walker wins on Tuesday, you can bet they'll care a lot less about the consequences of throwing people off of the state system, and tens of thousands more Wisconsinites will fall through the cracks.

And the other bomb wating to go off is Family Care, which was given a third (and probably final) extension to July 23 to have the state comply with Obama Administration rules in order to get nearly $900 million in funding. DHS Secretary Dennis Smith has been consistently slow to release information required by the feds, such as notifying possible Family Care recipients that they can get services, and it's why the state hasn't been in compliance with the Fed requirements on Family Care so far. But again, this is not surprising either, because the only reason the Family Care cap was lifted was due to requirements from D.C. (Remember that cock-up by the Walker folks and Walker's lying press conference at the end of 2011?) Don't believe for a second that a Walker Administration with 2 more years in office wouldn't screw over tens of thousands of Wisconsinites just to cosmetically balance the budget and allow their campaign contributors in the assisted living community to have a larger client list, which they certainly would if Family Care were to be capped or removed.

Much like I pointed out last week, there are a large amount of fiscal bombs set by the Walker Administration that are waiting to go off over the next 2 years, and if they do, the damage will be so great that it may never be able to be adequately fixed. Or the effort will be so great to fix them that many other areas of the state will have to suffer (much like how the nation still hasn't recovered from the Bush Administration's malfeasance). So let's stop the damage on Tuesday and defuse these explosives, both for our health, as well as the health for our family members, some of whom probably use or need these services in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I was amazed about the funhouse. Its very interested!