Federal Government, Public Need More Time toReview Extreme WalkerHealth Cuts
MADISON– On Friday, federal officials at theCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they likely will not beable to meet the Walkeradministration’s self-imposed deadline to consider their far-reachingproposal to slashmore than a half-billion dollars from our state’s health safety net and threaten healthcarefor hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites. State Rep. Sandy Pasch (D – Whitefish Bay) released the following statement inwake of their announcement:
“Governor Walker and legislative Republicans chose togive an unelected bureaucrat nearly carte blanche authority to rush throughsweeping changes to our state’s vital health programs, and it is clear that everyone– including the federal government, our state, and the thousands offamilies who will be impacted by these changes – need and deserve moretime to review this rushed plan,” said Rep. Pasch. “The Walker administration has establisheda lose-lose situation for thousands of our most vulnerable citizens through aclear political ploy, and we must continue to fight to ensure that their bad decisions and misplaced priorities receive morescrutiny than they are allowing.”
Rep. Pasch also noted that she has introduced Assembly Bill339, which would restore proper legislative oversight and publicinput to Walker’sfar-reaching changes. It would also remove the arbitrary and seeminglyunattainable deadline the Walkeradministration established for approval by CMS.
“If it wasn’t clear before, we now know that Walker’s rushed plan to undermine healthcare for Wisconsin children and families is fraught withunanswered questions and serious concerns that we all need more time toexamine,” said Rep. Pasch. “I urge Gov. Walker to slow down and work with federal andstate officials in order to achieve savings in our important Medicaid andBadgerCare programs without seriously risking the healthof our most vulnerable for years to come.”
Walker's Needlessly Short Timetable Just a Smokescreen to Boot Tens of Thousands of Wisconsinites off BadgerCareMADISON-- Tammy Baldwin today issued the following statement on the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) announcement that they are unable to make a determination by Gov. Scott Walker's imposed end-of-the-year deadline on Wisconsin’s application for a Medicaid waiver for the state's highly successful BadgerCare program.
The Walker Administration has proposed significant changes to Wisconsin's BadgerCare eligibility standards, and gave the federal government less than one month to consider its waiver application -- a very short timetable considering the number of factors that need to be reviewed in considering a waiver.
Walker’s waiver request would result in the elimination of coverage for an estimated 64,000 individuals, including approximately 29,000 children. Walker's Administration has threatened to end health care coverage for 53,000 Wisconsinites if the waiver is not approved.
Statement of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin:
“Given the tens of thousands of Wisconsinites who look to the successful, popular BadgerCare program for health care coverage, and the complex process to grant a waiver to the rules and laws that makes BadgerCare possible, it's unreasonable for Gov. Walker to expect a decision in less than a month. This is a obviously a transparent ploy by the governor to shift the political blame for his choice to balance the state budget by booting tens of thousands of Wisconsinites off of health care. I urge Gov. Walker to rethink this decision, and find alternative solutions to Wisconsin's budget shortfall. Forcing thousands more uninsured families to go without health care or end up at the emergency room for costly care will not reduce health care spending, and is the wrong prescription for the state’s budget woes.”
Wisconsin Council on Children & Families
Feds Say They Need More Time to Review Proposed BadgerCare Changes
(Madison)--Federal officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today
that they probably won’t be able to act as quickly as the Walker Administration had hoped on a complex
set of federal waivers that would allow the state to make sweeping changes to BadgerCare. However,
the letter sent today to Dennis Smith, Secretary of the Department of Health Services, gives the state
the green light to proceed with some portions of its proposals.
Ken Taylor, executive director of the Wisconsin Council for Children and Families, applauded the
decision by CMS not to rush the agency’s consideration of the state’s complex, 221-page waiver request.
“The changes in the waiver request would harm at least 168,000 Wisconsinites. A decision this big
shouldn’t be rushed through just to meet the state’s arbitrary December 31 deadline. Granting the
waiver would also send the message to other states that they can drop millions of people from
Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act was designed to protect people from that, and we shouldn’t
encourage states to undermine this important piece of health care reform. ”
Taylor urged state lawmakers to pass legislation removing or postponing the deadline to allow a wider
range of options to be considered.
“It’s a big mistake to force CMS to choose so quickly between approving the entire proposal and kicking
53,000 adults off of BadgerCare. State residents deserve a more thoughtful process.”
A recent WCCF publication provides a side-by-side comparison of the consequences of those two
options: http://www.wccf.org/pdf/MOE_fallback_comparison.pdf .