By Adam Tobias | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has vowed to clean up the Obama administration’s mess, and he intends to do so without using any additional money from the state’s general purpose revenue fund.
The Republican governor has called for legislation to extend BadgerCare coverage by three months for close to 80,000 Wisconsin residents while the federal government irons out the kinks that have massively disrupted the Affordable Care Act’s online exchange systems.
Approximately 77,000 Wisconsinites were expected to switch from BadgerCare Plus — the state’s version of Medicaid — to the new federal insurance plans on Jan. 1, but Walker said the problems that have plagued the exchanges likely will prevent that from happening.
“We don’t want anyone in this state to fall through the cracks,” Walker said Thursday.
Only 877 Wisconsin residents had selected a marketplace insurance plan through the federal online exchange system between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Walker said that failure is precisely why he rejected more than $4 billion in federal funding through 2019 to expand Medicaid coverage in Wisconsin as part of the ACA.
“I’ve said time and time again, I’m not going to jeopardize and put at risk the taxpayers in my state for a federal government that cannot balance its budget, a federal government that continues to grow the national debt, as well as the deficit, and today … a federal government that can’t even get a basic website up and going they’ve known about for several years,” Walker said.
Under Walker’s proposal, 77,000 citizens would be able to keep their BadgerCare coverage until March 31. After that date, they would be responsible for getting insurance through the federal exchange.
The BadgerCare extension will not require any additional general purpose revenue funds, according to Walker.
The governor’s 2013-2015 budget already had added approximately $650 million in general purpose revenue for Medicaid. Overall, the total Medicaid budget for the 2013-2015 biennium is about $16.3 billion.
Walker is also asking the Wisconsin Legislature to pass a bill that would extend the state’s Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan by three months to provide an added safety net during the transition.
The Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan, which covers about 20,000 people, has a considerable surplus to allow the state to continue the program, Walker said.
Attempts to reach the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to determine the amount of the surplus were unsuccessful.
Both of Walker’s initiatives, which are expected to be considered by the Legislature in a special session sometime after Thanksgiving, would not require approval from the federal government, according to Tom Evenson, the governor’s spokesman.
Walker predicts the legislation will pass with broad bipartisan support.
But some Democratic lawmakers are not as optimistic.
“What Governor Walker failed to mention during his press conference (Thursday) is that we wouldn’t need to call for a special session if he had not repeatedly refused funding to strengthen BadgerCare and develop a Wisconsin-specific health care exchange,” state Rep. Sandy Pasch, D-Shorewood, said in a press release.
Walker is also requesting that the federal government grant the state a waiver that would allow Wisconsinites who qualify for subsidies to be able to use that financial assistance for any qualified health plan, even those outside the exchanges.
Walker’s proposal comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s announcement that Americans will now be able to keep their cancelled health insurance policies for a year.
More than 4.8 million Americans had received notices that their preexisting plans were soon to be illegal, according to Forbes.
Insurance companies must also inform consumers of what benefits those plans lack, and of options for better coverage under the new law.
Obama’s initiative is extremely similar to the “If You Like Your Health Care, You Can Keep It Act,” that was already introduced by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
Contact Adam Tobias at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Scoop_Tobias
- Obamacare compliance means less money for TN service agencies
- The mystery of Obamacare spending in Arkansas
- Obamacare raises questions for MD small business owners
- Kansas official on Obamacare: ‘Let someone else be the guinea pig’
- Obamacare insurance marketplace has plenty of kinks on first day
- OR’s Obamacare insurance marketplace hits technological snag
- Fail: Day 1 of the New Mexico Obamacare rollout
- Senator asks: Do you want this dysfunctional government taking over health care?
- Jobs, coverage at risk with Obamacare, MN union health official says
- Oregon’s Obamacare ads resemble middle school art
- VIDEO: Obamacare vs Affordable Care Act: Comedy triumphs in court of confusion
- Patience is key to navigating Illinois’ Obamacare marketplace
- Hawaii residents, lawmakers frustrated with health connector glitches
- Healthy young, key to Obamacare, aren’t buying it
- NM’s health exchange tries to lure ‘young invincibles’
- Obama drama: Senator blames governor for big rate hikes
- Progressive group navigates Oregon students through Obamacare
- Maddening: Trying to log onto federal health care site
- You know that one guy who successfully signed up for Obamacare? He didn’t
- What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working
- HHS Secretary Sebelius back in FL after embarrassing Obamacare rollout
- Health centers enroll Floridians in Obamacare as application problems persist
- VIDEO: Stewart skewers Sebelius on Obamacare
- Obamacare effect? 9 companies exit Nebraska’s health insurance market
- Obamacare: Children of undocumented parents face an uncertain future
- Which way do we go? Obamacare navigator registration in TN in question
- NM health exchange tries to ease problems with Obamacare website
- CPA says hype over Obamacare small business tax credit is misleading
- Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant
- Reports of Obamacare fraud emerge in Tennessee
- After two weeks, FL online Obamacare enrollees are hard to find
- Illinois state governor touts 100K Obamacare enrollees, all in Medicaid
- Kansas lawmaker calls for crackdown on Obamacare navigators
- WI health care exchange seeing few getting through
- Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange relaunches with more glitches
- We’ll know next month how many people in NM signed up for Obamacare — maybe
- Zero: Number of Nebraskans Obamacare navigators have signed up
- It took this Delaware woman 11 days to sign up for Obamacare – and she was the first
- How many people have signed up for health insurance in VA? Who knows?
- What else? NM federal health exchange ads stalled due to website problems
- Blue Cross hires temp workers to deal with Obamacare glitches
- If Obamacare is the next Medicare, will physicians leave en masse?
- Three problems that won’t be solved by fixing the Obamacare exchange glitches
- Plenty of Oregonians interested in Obamacare, but none can enroll online
- Criticize this: Obamacare premiums a near match to WI disclosures
- Report: Missourians will see sharp rise in premiums under Obamacare
- Kansas navigators say they’ve enrolled no one in Obamacare
- Obamacare too costly for rich Coloradans, Democrat congressman says
- Study: Kansas premiums to spike following Obamacare rollout
- Hang on to your candy: Creepy Uncle Sam is back
- Obamacare or bust: NM Watchdog turned back again
- Medical journals, experts refute claim that Medicaid cuts ER use
- Arkansas spends $4M on Obamacare ads, wants more
- LOL: In July video, HHS bragged about being ‘on schedule’ with Obamacare
- Illinois uses Day of the Dead to market Obamacare
- Sebelius denies GOP’s Terry ‘unreliable’ Obamacare info
- About 290,000 Washington residents lose health insurance plans
- Broken promise: Obamacare cancels almost 20,000 Kansas health care plans
- Top hospitals opt out of Obamacare
- Obamacare moves to intensive care
- Obamacare provision could lead to more Medicaid fraud
- Obamacare: Religious groups want to ‘move mountains’
- Obamacare hitting Wisconsin residents with double whammy
- Kansas AG: Obamacare threatens consumer privacy
- 1,500 in New Mexico have to move out of the high-risk insurance pool
- Cover Oregon website fiasco creates jobs, but costs millions
- For Florida’s Obamacare small business exchange, it’s crunch time
- Only 877 Wisconsinites have signed up for Obamacare, federal report says
- Just 172 in NM have completed Obamacare applications: ‘Woefully inadequate,’ says NMIX board member
- With only 346 Oklahomans signed up, leaders decry ‘Obamacare debacle’
- Defying Obamacare: ‘Send them the bill,’ NM insurance official says
- Kansas Obamacare enrollment dwarfed by nearly 20,000 cancellations
- Numbers don’t lie: In Illinois, Obamacare means Medicaid
- Wisconsin governor proposes insurance plan to address Obamacare rollout failure
- Tennesseans might know Tuesday if they can keep canceled health insurance
- People demand answers over Oregon’s Obamacare fail
- Calif. says ‘no’ to Obamacare freebies, makes own law
- HI health exchange violates federal law, League of Women Voters say
- Obamacare video winner: ‘Forget about the price tag’
- Harvard study finds ‘striking’ rejection of Obamacare by young Americans
- HI health exchange has signed up 574 people, for about $348,000 apiece
- Are the uninsured getting Obamacare coverage in Illinois?
- Secret Obamacare handbook the feds don’t want you to see is online
- Lost in translation: Once-supportive Hispanics turning backs on Obama, ACA
- HI Obamacare exchange not fiscally sustainable, lawmakers told
- Illinois’ latest Obamacare targets: gold diggers and momma’s boys
- Now Democrats are bashing California’s Obamacare exchange, too
- Obamacare: For $1.37M we get Richard Simmons in lurid web stream
- Obamacare: A welcome mat for IRS horrors
- California senator seeks audit of state Obamacare exchange
- Report: Hawaii ranks worst for Obamacare signups
- CA senator sues Obamacare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
- Failure of Maryland Obamacare exchange could mean higher premiums in North Dakota
- Video: Watch Creepy Uncle Sam make it rain
- Five bright spots surrounding the Obamacare exchange failures
- Obamacare architect admitted in 2012 states without exchanges lose subsidies