Monday, April 2, 2012

Medicaid deficit shrinks yet again
Further proof that Walker’s plan to drop health care for thousands not needed

Madison—The projected deficit in the budget for Wisconsin’s state health care programs shrunk by another $27.5 million since December, according to new estimates received today by the Joint Finance Committee.  In its latest quarterly report to the legislative budget committee, the Department of Health Services estimates the state portion of the Medicaid deficit is now $81.7 million.  It’s the second report in a row to show a decrease in Wisconsin’s projected Medicaid deficit through June 30, 2013.  

Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement in response to the new report.  He serves on the Joint Finance Committee and is the ranking member on the Assembly Health Committee.

“Yet again the financial condition of BadgerCare and other state health programs is far less dire than originally predicted.  The new numbers released today clearly demonstrate that Governor Walker’s plan to drop health care for 22,000 people is not necessary to balance the Medicaid budget.  The state health department is already pursuing administrative changes to the Medicaid program that it estimates will save $75.2 million, almost enough to close the new projected deficit. 

“While the state does not need to drop families from BadgerCare, the families relying on BadgerCare need it badly in this challenging economy.

“I encourage Governor Walker to drop his plan to increase the number of uninsured families in Wisconsin.  Otherwise it will be obvious that his budget maneuvers are driven more by ideology than sound math.”

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