A deal may have been cut regarding Governor Scott Walker’s decision to reject federal Medicaid funding. The governor’s proposed budget would reject federal money to expand the state’s BadgerCare program, opting instead to move people into the exchanges created under Obamacare. That could leave many uninsured and dependent on hospital emergency rooms, so GOP budget negotiators want to provide additional state money to hospitals.
“By doing that, what they’re saying is, that it’s okay to leave a lot of Wisconsinites without health insurance, as long as the hospitals don’t lose money over it,” said Robert Kraig with Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association supports federal Medicaid expansion, but also appears supportive of this deal, which is expected to be taken up by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday.
“You rarely in state government see this stark an example of how entities that can hire armies of lobbyists can get what they want in the budget, but average people who simply want the state government to take the additional money for BadgerCare, they’re left by the side of the road,” said Kraig.
A spokesperson for the hospital association said they would not have a comment until the budget panel concludes its work.