Nearly half the births in Wisconsin during 2005 were paid by taxpayers through Medicaid. Forty-four percent up from thirty-five and a half percent in 2000. A twenty-six per cent jump.
Jason Helgerson at Health and Family Services says between 2000 and 2005 more women enrolled in Medicaid. In fact, Helgerson says there was an alarming increase in the number of women of child-bearing age who were two times below the federally established poverty line.
Helgerson says HFS believes that's because people were still feeling the affects of a recession in 2002-2003.
The Doyle administration is proposing an expansion of family planning services to help reduce the number of Medicaid funded births. That expansion would include services for men as well. Helgerson says reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies is good for everyone including the taxpayer.
That proposal is part of the legislative budget debate now going on in a conference committee.