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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More and more is coming out about this Budget:

Budget Repair Bill Includes Changes to Medicaid, BadgerCare

By Molly Hendrickson

If the budget repair bill passes, big changes could come for people who rely on Medicaid and BadgerCare.

The proposal changes income qualifications.

A family of three with an annual income of $24,000 or less would qualify for BadgerCare. Right now, a family of three with an income of $37,000 qualifies.

Dorinne Green doesn't think she'd be alive if not for Medicaid.

"It covered my hospital stay and my subsequent care after," she told us.

A rare disease causes mucinous tumors to grow on her organs. She's already racked up $140,000 in medical bills to have them removed.

She worries changes in Medicaid would prevent her from having future surgeries.

"I also understand the need to balance the budget, but do not balance the budget at the risk of the health of the citizens of Wisconsin," she said.

The Save BadgerCare Coalition says 1.2 million people rely on Medicaid in the state. It says 65,000 people will lose coverage with the new income qualification.

"When people don't have health care coverage, they delay getting health care until it's an emergency," Ken Taylor of the Save BadgerCare Coalition said. "We think it's much more effective to provide health care through a good program like BadgerCare Plus to those folks."

The repair bill could change who is covered and how. It gives the department of Health Services authority to make "emergency rules" governor Walker says are needed to reduce costs.

A statement from the governor's office says, "Changes could lead to cost saving measures that will help tackle the nearly $1.8 billion budget shortfall... and will allow the state to study how to deal with many of the new incoming federal health care and medical assistance mandates."

"It would give the Department of Health Services the ability to rewrite Medicaid policy with minimal input from the Legislature or the public. This would be some pretty big changes that could change eligibility, benefits, reimbursement of the Medicaid providers," Taylor said.

But the governor says the budget repair bill is a necessary step to get the state budget on track.

For now it's just a waiting game to see just who will be affected and how.

Over half of the residents at Queen of Angels Assisted Living in Radisson, WI are on Medicaid and as Fr. Bernard or Mary will testify that it is already a nightmare getting paid and that even a longtime member of our Church has been without benefits on numerous occasions - even though she has no real assets.  And with this Bill that many think is just about getting teachers to take a cut in benefits and pay - these people in need will likely be denied even more benefits leaving Father Bernard with no means of funding their care!


sister clare said...

I am so sorry. Sure hope this bill doesn't pass.

Pope St. Felix III said...

what is truly shocking is that it seems that many people who are members of our Church are supporting this - even though it is clearly contrary to Catholic teaching to deny ANY workers the right to form a union and collectively bargain.

I think they need to spend less time listening to these neo-con liars on the radio and TV - all of which are Israel supporters - a nation that we hand BILLIONS of dollars to every year - even while we are supposedly broke!