Scott Walker’s delay on restructuring BadgerCare Plus may save $23 million
|By Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The Republican governor himself is seeking the delay in his health care proposals to respond to the troubled rollout of the federal law known as Obamacare. The bill to approve the state delay was released publicly for the first time Tuesday and will come before
The legislation also would delay by three months the close of a state insurance pool for high-risk consumers. In a difference with current law, the bill would first use any surplus in that pool to avoid putting more taxes on insurers rather than offsetting insurer taxes and consumer premiums equally.
The legislation would delay from
An analysis of the proposal by
But the saving from not bringing on the additional 83,000 adults below the federal poverty line --
The delay could mean a
In a letter Monday to Walker, Cullen praised the governor for not dropping the 72,000 people from BadgerCare but disagreed with the governor's plan for funding that decision.
"You intend to pay for the cost of extending
In an interview, Cullen said he will seek to amend Walker's proposal to use the federal money to provide coverage to both groups through March.
Evenson dismissed that idea, arguing that state taxpayers can't count on federal taxpayers being able to pick up the tab.
"According to the
But Cullen said that argument didn't hold up for such a short period of taking the federal money.
"You have said you oppose taking the federal
"Why would I want to put people on a program for three months and then take them off?" he said.
The legislation released Tuesday also would delay for three months:
-- Walker's plan to drop BadgerCare coverage for children whose families make more than 300% of the federal poverty level.
-- The implementation of new federal rules for determining the composition and income of households for state
-- The phaseout of a bare-bones state insurance program, funded purely by participants' premiums and no tax dollars, that is known as BadgerCare Plus Basic.
-- The sunset of state high-risk health coverage known as the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan, which had been scheduled to end on
The legislation would require that before any additional taxes are assessed on insurers for the three-month extension, the existing surplus and additional participant premiums and provider discounts have to be used first, said
A spokesman for Walker's office of the commissioner of insurance didn't respond to a request for comment on reasons for the proposed change to the current funding scheme.
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