The Walker Medicaid shell game

walkercare

 

Argh.  Look at how National Journal frames this news story in both title and image.  Isn’t that sort of a Papal hand motion, there?  Was he offering his blessing?

assembly votes to delay

 

In reality, Walker’s legislative disciples in the Assembly are keeping 83,000 of our poorest from healthcare for an extra 3 months.  The bill next goes to the WI Senate.

I’ll grab Jake’s explanation of how Walker’s latest shell game with poor people works in these Special Session Bills:
“The intent is to make sure Wisconsin families with children and incomes between 100-200% of the poverty line continue to get BadgerCare until April 1, to make sure they don’t have any gap in coverage between the end of the year and the time that they are able to get coverage through the federal Obamacare exchanges.

The flip side of this bill is that aproximately 83,000 adults without children who have incomes at the poverty line or below won’t be able to get Medicaid until April 1, instead of the January 1 date they are currently slated to be able to get coverage. The upshot of this is that you still have tens of thousands of Wisconsinites getting thrown off of Medicaid and onto the federal insurance exchanges between January 1 and April 1.” – source: Not thankful for another right-wing media fail on Medicaid

What a joke.

Those 83K people who must wait ’til April have an income of 100% of poverty level or less ($11,490 or less), so how do they come up with a couple hundred dollars a month for an insurance premium? Keep in mind, people at 100% or below F.P.L. [federal poverty level] do not get a tax credit to cover this.

And what I hope is an extraneous point of clarification: nobody gets thrown “onto the federal insurance exchanges”. It’s not automatic.*  Basically, it ain’t gonna happen.

I like Senator Cullen’s response to Walker which is
“I find no humane rationale for this decision.”

The only compassionate solution for our fellow citizens is to keep the governor’s new plan to extend coverage for those between 100% and 200% FPL until March 31, but also begin covering the lowest income citizens on January 1 as was laid out in the budget bill. The legislature’s approach need not follow the “Sophie’s Choice” mentality offered by the governor.” – source: November 27, 2013 letter

Ha. Humanity? Compassion? Scott Walker “cares too much”.

See exhibit A: this Scott Walker quote from a month ago –
“People who are taking the Medicaid expansion are depending on the federal government living up to their commitment, a federal government that can’t even get a website up and going” .

Readers of this blog know full well I’ve pointed out problems with Obamacare. Medicaid has NOT been one of those problems.

Medicaid expansion seems to be THE SUCCESS story in all of this.
Sign up for Medicaid has been so fast and easy across the country in comparison to sign up for private healthcare that 90% of those enrolled in health insurance through the ACA in the first month are in Medicaid.

Walker COULD HAVE taken the expanded Medicaid money and saved this state $105 million just between now and mid-2015 [per LFB’s estimate].

But no can do.
Scott Walker does not do prudent governing. Scott Walker does insults and ideology. Scott Walker does book tours. Scott Walker is doing us over.

Footnote-
Another legislator resonse: Rep. Johnson Rejects Republicans ’ False Choice on BadgerCare

 

*  Yeah – I realize that given Wisconsin is among the most expensive for health insurance in the country, the “affordability” of this is questionable for people above the federal poverty line as well.

Check county by county insur. rates and plan availability here.

But stepping back, were we really interested in being “consumers” in a mandated marketplace or were we interested in becoming “beneficiaries” of an efficient and guaranteed universal healthcare system? I wanted the latter option and I still want that.

 

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