Wednesday, April 3, 2013


   April 3, 2013     

Action Alert: Greendale Public Hearing

Public Hearings on the Budget: Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Wisconsin's Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has announced it will hold four "public hearings" on the proposed executive budget. Beginning TOMORROW, April 4 in Greendale, WI, these hearings are an excellent opportunity to speak out and let your elected officials know how you feel about proposed changes to BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid programs in the budget. The hearings are scheduled as follows:
Greendale - April 4, 2013
Greendale High School Auditorium
6801 Southway
Greendale, WI 53129     Green Bay - April 8, 2013
Lambeau Field Legends Club Room, 4th Level
1265 Lombardi Ave
Green Bay, WI 54304
WI Dells - April 10, 2013
Kalahari Resort Suite 2 & 7 Main Level
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965     Baldwin - April 18, 2013
Baldwin-Woodville High School Auditorium
1000 13th Avenue
Baldwin, WI 54002

You can also submit written testimony by email or submit written testimony via U.S. mail to: Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702.

This is the first in a series of ACTION ALERTS from HealthWatch Wisconsin to remind people of the upcoming hearings. Remember, there are rules that accompany these hearings. Your comments will be restricted in time, so be sure to address the Joint Finance Committee briefly and efficiently.

About the Budget Bill:

As things stand now, Wisconsin rejected the chance to expand Medicaid and take advantage of the Federal Government paying 100% of the cost of certain new Medicaid enrollees through 2016. Instead, Wisconsin plans to dramatically change our Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus programs. The proposed executive budget bill AB 40 caps BadgerCare Plus for all non-disabled adults at 100% FPL.

Read HealthWatch Wisconsin's new "Top Ten" list for April on the value in expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin, instead of cutting it, as proposed in the budget.

For a summary of the proposed budget changes and commentary, view one of our recent WatchDog episodes:

    Wisconsin's Budget Proposal-Part I: "Medicaid Expansion?"
    Wisconsin's Budget Proposal-Part II: "The Faulty Justifications for WalkerCare"
    Wisconsin's Budget Proposal-Part III: "Medicaid Common $en$e"

In a press release issued by HealthWatch Wisconsin, ABC for Health's Bobby Peterson says, "Governor Walker put politics above the needs of people in Wisconsin," commenting on the Medicaid provisions of the proposed state budget. Peterson continued, "The Administration justified its new plan for health care in Wisconsin as 'a path from dependence to independence' for the 87,000 parents that could face termination from BadgerCare Plus in 2014. In reality, the WalkerCare proposal is a shell game strewn with red tape that pushes people from BadgerCare (subsidized health care in contracted private health plans) through to Exchanges (subsidized health care through private health plans in the new federal marketplace)."

Peterson continues, "To make matters worse, the Governor's plan costs more money, separates children from parents' coverage, and leaves billions of our federal tax payments in Washington for other states to spend for their health care needs. Meanwhile back home, counties spend hundreds of millions of local tax levy dollars on mental health services that federal resources could partially cover." Peterson relies on fiscal estimates provided from Legislative Fiscal Bureau Reports to support his conclusion that the Walker administration operates from a "very different reality" driven by political ambition.

Peterson concludes, "The Walker administration had a huge opportunity to strengthen BadgerCare, help local property tax payors, and save the state money. Let's hope that better public policy emerges from the Joint Finance Committee and the Legislature."
Your Voice is Needed and Appreciated!

If you can't attend a public hearing in person, consider submitting written testimony or contacting your elected officials NOW to let them know your thoughts on the dire need for BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid programs in Wisconsin!
Call the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-362-9472
Call or Email Your Elected Official Directly
Join HealthWatch Wisconsin to Help Us Promote Access to Health Care & Coverage in Wisconsin

To see a listing of current Joint Finance Committee members, please click here.

On behalf of the staff and students at ABC for Health, thank you for being a subscriber to the HealthWatch Wisconsin Update, Reporter, Action Alerts & WatchDog. ACTION ALERTS are funded by HealthWatch Wisconsin member dues. Please join and support HealthWatch Wisconsin or make a tax-deductible donation to ABC for Health, to keep projects like HealthWatch Wisconsin sustainable!

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