Democrats urge Walker to stop plan to drop health care for 17,000 people
Richards, Erpenbach, Pasch and Hulsey call for special session on BadgerCare Protection Act
Madison- Today four legislative Democrats called on Gov. Scott Walker to immediately schedule a special legislative session to stop his administration from moving forward with an unnecessary and harmful plan to drop health care for 17,000 people starting July 1.
Reps. Jon Richards, Sandy Pasch and Brett Hulsey and Sen. Jon Erpenbach sent the attached letter to Walker today urging him to bring the legislature back to pass the BadgerCare Protection Act.
They wrote the letter in response to an announcement by Walker's health department late Friday that he planned to move forward with a plan to raise premiums, restrict access and implement other changes to BadgerCare.
"Taking affordable health care away from 17,000 people, or the equivalent of the entire city of Menasha, is not necessary to keep the Medicaid program sustainable," they wrote. "Providing health care coverage to Wisconsin families simply requires the more compassionate and financially responsible approach outlined in the BadgerCare Protection Act."
The four Democrats told Walker his plan goes above and beyond what's needed to close the Medicaid deficit.
"Only $12.6 million in state funding is needed to close the Medicaid deficit," they wrote. "DHS's planned cuts to coverage cut more than twice the amount that is necessary to close that deficit. It is clear that DHS is attempting to balance the Medicaid budget on the backs of thousands of Wisconsin families by dropping their health coverage."
Their letter continues: "Without BadgerCare, many will become uninsured and left alone to fear a diagnosis of cancer, heart disease or other life-threatening illness that could ruin their family's financial security forever. Expensive emergency rooms will then be their only alternative. This only drives up costs for everyone else who must pay the so-called "hidden tax" of uncompensated care."
The Democrats' alternative plan closes the Medicaid deficit by repealing an expensive new tax loophole for large corporations that will cost the state about $40 million annually. The large corporations using this loophole are not required to create a single job in Wisconsin to use it.