October 31, 2014

DHS Secretary says health care law costly for Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s health secretary told a House subcommittee Thursday that state taxpayers will shell out more to treat the poor and the elderly under the Obama health reform law. However, supporters of the law say DHS Secretary Dennis Smith is not telling the whole story.

Smith told the House panel that the federal government will not be able to reimburse enough money to the state to cover the expected increases in programs such as Badger-Care enrollments. As a result, Smith said Wisconsin will spend more than the savings it’s expected to get under the Obama package.

Smith also argued the national law will raise administrative costs for running Medicaid, while determining who is eligible for those benefits.

Supporters of the health package say Smith is ignoring the total cost savings included in the law, plus the value of the extra benefits it will provide to Wisconsin’s uninsured residents and health care providers.