The Wisconsin Counties Association is renewing a call for Governor Walker to accept federal funding that would allow the state to expand coverage under its Medicaid programs.
The Association on Sunday re-affirmed its position that the governor should take the federal dollars that he rejected as a part of the current state budget. Walker turned down the money in favor of a plan that pushes those living above the federal poverty line to purchase their coverage through the federal health care exchange system.
The decision means about 92,000 Wisconsin residents will have their BadgerCare coverage dropped at the end of the year. The state sent letters out to those residents on Friday, informing them of the impending change.
Milwaukee County Board chair Marina Dimitrijevic says the governor still has time to change his mind and Walker should “listen to his friends at the local level” when they say the people need access to quality and affordable health care.
While the exchanges are geared towards providing all Americans with access to affordable care, even supporters of the system have admitted that those living just above the poverty line may have a difficult time paying for coverage. Brown County Board Supervisor Dan Robinson says that could impact the quality of life for thousands of Wisconsin residents, making it hard for them to “function as a father, to function as a mother, to be a contributing member to their community.” Robinson says expanding Medicaid coverage is a “core issue for respecting the life of each resident of the state of Wisconsin.”
Governor Walker has maintained that his plan complies with federal regulations. A spokesman for Walker also notes that the governor’s plan will provide Medicaid coverage for all Wisconsin resident living below the federal poverty line, making sure those who need it most will receive government assistance.