The legislature’s budget committee on Wednesday signed off on changes to BadgerCare. Some 44,000 BadgerCare enrollees will see premium increases, while more than 22,000 will be dropped from the state-run Medicaid program. Representative Corey Mason questioned Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith. “What is your response to the very real impact that may occur for the people of Wisconsin who may not be able to afford health care?” Mason said many of his constituents will struggle with the changes. “They’re on the bubble right now about whether or not they are eligible for BadgerCare. When they look in the private market what they find are plans that are $1700 a month with a $5000 deductible.”
“We have families today, at a hundred and fifty percent of poverty, on BadgerCare, paying ten dollars a month for their coverage,” said Smith. “And I have people who work for me, as state employees earning less income than that, paying $200 a month. How do I say that is equitable? What are we saying to the neighbor next door who’s paying over $300 a month for their coverage?”
Smith said no children in Wisconsin will lose their BadgerCare eligibility, under terms of the plan negotiated with federal officials.