Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Joint Finance Committee Action on Changes to BadgerCare Waiver Proposal

As we discussed in a blog post yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) met this afternoon to discuss and vote on the Department of Health Services’ (DHS) revisions to the BadgerCare waiver proposals approved by the committee in November. On a 12-4 party line vote, with Republicans in favor and Democrats against, the committee approved the proposal to establish sliding scale premiums for adults over 133% of the poverty level who are in BadgerCare or Transitional Medicaid. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the changes to premiums would be applied to 17,000 additional adults, compared to the original waiver request.

Democrats offered a motion that would have nullified the entire waiver proposal approved by the JFC in November, which DHS estimated at that time would cause more than 64,000 people to lose their BadgerCare coverage. That motion would have paved the way for the committee to take up the BadgerCare Protection Act, which restores legislative accountability for Medicaid changes and fills the program deficit by eliminating a corporate tax break passed earlier this year. This motion was rejected on a party line vote, with Democrats in favor and Republicans against.

You can read more about today’s meeting in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article posted on their website late this afternoon.

Sara Eskrich

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