State Senator Questions Assumptions About Wisconsin Support Programs

Mar 13, 2018

Wisconsin News Connection is here.

MADISON, Wis. - Democratic state senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma says the package of proposals under Special Assembly Bill 6 makes false assumptions about fraud in the state's assistance programs. DarkoStojanovic

The advocacy group Citizen Action of Wisconsin late last week released it's annual report on regional health insurance costs.

Executive Director Robert Kraig says the report shows the hyperinflation before the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the lessening of inflation after A.C.A. went into effect..

" hyperinflation has slowed dramatically in the large group market since passage. It certainly is not fair to say the the Affordable Care Act has increased costs..."

Wisconsin could lose up to $115 million a year if unless Congress acts to renew a program called the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIPS. 118,000 children are covered under the program in Wisconsin. Because of Wisconsin law, those children will remain covered, but the state will need to pick up the burden instead of being reimbursed from Washington, D.C.

Jon Peacock of the Wisconsin group Kids Forward says the program began 20 years ago on a bipartisan basis to expand health coverage for kids in low-income working families...

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Following President Trump's Executive Order Thursday affecting funding of the Affordable Care Act, Wisconsin Democrats are saying there is an option for consumers.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin held a call-in Friday where advocates said insurance rate increases are avoidable if Wisconsin adopts the BadgerCare Public Option bill introduced last summer.

The BadgerCare Public Option Bill authored by State Rep. Eric Genrich  of Green Bay and State Sen. LaTonya Johnson of Milwaukee, gives Wisconsinites the option of purchasing BadgerCare on the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

U.S. Senate Urged To Pass CHIP Funding

Apr 9, 2015

Advocates are calling on the federal government to continue funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The program is funded through Medicaid or, in Wisconsin Badgercare Plus. Money comes from both the federal and state coffers to fund the low-income health insurance program.

Funding for the program has passed the U.S. House, but has stalled in the U.S. Senate.

State Medicaid Director Kevin  Moore describes how the program works...

An advocacy group says 101 primary care physicians in Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade and Forest counties will lose 45 percent of their Medicaid or Badgercare reimbursements this week.

Health Insurance Enrollment Period Opens Saturday

Nov 10, 2014

If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll have another chance starting this weekend to sign up on the health exchange, the online marketplace for health insurance.

The open enrollment period opens this Saturday, November 15th, and runs through February 15th.

Many hospitals and health care providers offer help signing up.

Ellen Humberston, Certified Application Counselor at the Bridge Community Health Clinic says there are several enrollment sessions where people can get help.

BadgerCare Referendums Draw Strong Support

Nov 5, 2014

Despite big Republican wins in Wisconsin elections Tuesday, voters went against the party line in supporting referendums on whether the state should accept federal Medicaid funds. 

Nineteen counties and the city of Kenosha had the question on the ballot, and all passed it with substantial margins.

69 percent of Oneida County voters said yes, the state should accept the federal dollars, with 70 percent in Iron County and 67 percent in Lincoln also voting in favor of the measure.

19 counties and the city of Kenosha will be hosting an advisory referendum question on Tuesday's ballot  concerning federal funds for Medicaid or Badgercare.

The Oneida County Board voted in favor of an advisory referendum…asking voters whether the state should accept federal dollars for Medicaid. 

At Tuesday’s meeting County Board Supervisor Bob Mott said the issue had already been thoroughly debated.

“We are not looking for a debate today, we’re simply saying, does the county board support allowing people in Oneida County to express their opinion on whether the state should or should not accept federal moneys?” 

Twelve other counties have already called for the same referendum this November.

12 Wisconsin counties have placed referendums before their voters this November to ask the Walker administration to accept federal Medicaid funds. The program in Wisconsin is known as BadgerCare. Chippewa county is the latest to hold such a referendum and Lincoln county has already joined in.

Tuesday, the Oneida county board will consider whether to become the next county to take the issue to a referendum.

The Resolution was sponsored by the Board of Health. Health Department Director Linda Conlon details what the county board will consider....

Lincoln   has become the fifth county board in Wisconsin to ask voters about accepting federal funds for BadgerCare.

The advisory referendum will be on the November ballot.

The Walker administration and the legislature declined the money to help pay for Medicaid, known in Wisconsin as BadgerCare. The money was available through the Affordable Care Act.

A report by the Democratic-leaning Citizen Action of Wisconsin challenges Governor Scott Walker's refusal to accept federal Medicaid money for BadgerCare has resulted in higher health insurance costs here than elsewhere.

During a media call with reporters this week, Citizen Action Director Robert Kraig said with increased transparency from Obamacare, they were able to gather data  on what other states are paying versus here. He says three conclusions came out of the data..

Helping With Insurance Enrollment

Jan 8, 2014

A health insurance sign-up session was fully booked Wednesday in Rhinelander.  Application counselors from Bridge Clinic in Wausau were on hand to walk people through the process of enrolling in the online exchange. 

Though a fickle internet connection was a frustration, at mid-day AyLee Her said he’d already helped three people sign up. 

“We are gonna be on the clock every hour.  So we’re hoping we don’t have any technical issues.  We should be able to get individuals enrolled within that hour and go on to the next individual.”

20 counties, including Oneida and Lincoln, have asked Governor Walker to allow them to access Medicaid money from the federal government to offset local health care expenses.

Earlier this year, Governor Walker notified the Obama Administration he would not be taking money for Wisconsin's version called BadgerCare from the Affordable Health Care Act to offset those costs.