Medicaid Budget Deficit Changes…Again
Governor Walker and Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith announced new adjustments to the Medicaid budget deficit in a letter to the Joint Finance Committee on April 2, 2012. Recall that in March 2011, Wisconsin’s Administration introduced a budget repair and subsequent biennial budget that included a provision to terminate 53,000 childless adults and parents from BadgerCare Plus should the federal review of the MOE waiver request not be completed by December 31, 2011. In a related letter dated December 30, 2011, Smith informed the Joint Finance Committee that “new” budget numbers indicate that he overstated his initial projection of $554.4 million in savings required to balance the Medicaid budget. Projected budget deficits in December totaled less that $232 million dollars, a drop of over $300 million. Now, in the April 2 letter, Smith projects the deficit in the budget for Wisconsin’s state health care programs to have again decreased by another $27.5 million over the December numbers, so that Smith now estimates the state portion of the Medicaid deficit to be approximately $81.7 million—a far cry from the March 2011 projection.