Saturday, March 30, 2013

Research Report: Walker’s Medicaid Plan Will Force Veterans from BadgerCare
STATEWIDE – Just released data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute reveal that Governor Walker’s plan to reject billions in federal Medicaid funds from the Affordable Care Act will lead to a denial of access to BadgerCare for Wisconsin’s veterans and their families. The report, done for each state, reveals that nationally 4 out of 10 uninsured veterans and one in four uninsured spouses have an income below the limit that would ensure they would receive access to Medicaid as originally provided in the Affordable Care Act.. However, with Governor Walker rejecting these federal Medicaid funds, this access is threatened for Wisconsin low income veterans.

The report reveals that in Wisconsin 1,200 uninsured veterans are between 100% and 138% of the federal poverty line, meaning that while they would have been eligible for BadgerCare under the Affordable Care Act, Walker’s rejection of federal Medicaid funds denies them this option. Additionally impacted at military families. According to the report there are approximately 500 spouses of veterans in Wisconsin in this income range. Because of  Walker’s decision, 1,700 uninsured veterans and spouses will be denied access to BadgerCare that will be guaranteed veterans in neighboring states under the Affordable Care Act.

"It is unfortunate and deeply disturbing that we are allowing veterans and their families to suffer by denying them BadgerCare where we could have covered them," said Mark Flower, Director of Community Programs at DryHootch of America, a Milwaukee organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families. "What disturbs me even more is that this report doesn't even include National Guard and Reservists, and their family members, how many more will this BadgerCare decision ultimately affect?”

“This report reminds the citizens of Wisconsin how little thought the Walker Administration put into protecting the health and well-being of our citizens when they made the decision to reject federal funds for BadgerCare,” said Kevin Kane, Healthcare Organizer at Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Like the revelation that the Governor’s decision would have originally kicked off pregnant women from BadgerCare, there are dire consequences of Walker’s BadgerCare decision for our veterans and their families.”

The Governor’s decision to reject federal funds for BadgerCare will force over 80,000 people off the program, and cost Wisconsin $100 million more this budget alone. This decision can be overturned at any time during the budget process, and in future years..

Source - Urban Institute, March 2013, “Uninsured Veterans and Family Members: State and National Estimates of Expanded Medicaid Eligibility Under the ACA”

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