In light of technical difficulties with the new healthcare.gov website and federal health care exchange, Gov. Scott Walker announced a plan in November to delay switching 77,000 families off BadgerCare and onto the federal exchange.
“It has been abundantly clear the rollout of Obamacare is failing,” Walker said at a press conference introducing the special session bills. “And whether you’re for [Obamacare] or against it, everyone has acknowledged that the rollout of Obamacare has not been as effective as originally proposed.”
Delaying the transition of the 77,000 families will also delay a budget provision passed in June to allow more than 80,000 childless adults to get coverage under BadgerCare. The delay will prevent this group from getting coverage until April 1, 2014.
The Assembly passed the bill detailing the changes in early December and the Senate is expected to pass the bill Dec. 19 due to its Republican majority.
With these delays, Democrats at both the state and national level, including Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., repeatedly called on Walker to accept federal Medicaid funding after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which Walker rejected due to the “uncertainty” of federal funding.
“The Governor should accept the federal investment to strengthen BadgerCare offered by the Affordable Care Act,” Baldwin said in a statement after Walker’s announcement. “That would ensure a 100 percent federal reimbursement covering all newly eligible individuals, including the 82,000 Wisconsinites that the Governor is leaving out of the BadgerCare program.”
During the Assembly session, Democrats also introduced an amendment to accept federal Medicaid dollars for three months to provide coverage for the childless adults, who would not receive coverage until April 1. However, the amendment was rejected.