A northern Wisconsin man has delivered a petition requesting that cuts to BadgerCare be restored. John Hardin of Chetek, in Barron County, made the trip to Madison to deliver paper copies of his on-line petition to state offices, including that of Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith. “With the money that Mr. Smith makes, I guess a hundred dollar a month increase in his insurance would be a modest increase,” says Hardin. “But when you’re a mom or a dad with two or three kids, making $25,000 a year, that’s an incredible amount of money.”
Changes to BadgerCare could result in loss of coverage for more than 60,000 residents, including 29,000 children. Hardin hopes Governor Scott Walker will reverse course. “I’d like to suggest to him that he read some of the personal comments that people made when they signed my Save BadgerCare petition, and find out how much people actually need this, how people rely on it,” says Hardin. Hardin, who spent more than a decade caring for his wife in their home, says people without insurance will simply rely on hospital emergency rooms, driving everyone else’s premiums up. He collected more than 14,000 signatures.