requiem for badgercare

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Huckleby
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requiem for badgercare

Postby Huckleby » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:23 am

I'm not sure most people understand what we have lost in WI this year. Badgercare was a wonderfully designed program, a model for the nation, and it just got blown up.

Badgercare was WI's version of medicaid, it gave very inexpensive health care services to families earning < $15k, and families up to $45K could purchase health insurance scaled to their income. (my numbers are very rough.) There are no other states that do this, to my knowledge. Tommy Thompson pushed through a very practical and progressive blueprint for healthcare reform.

BTW, I post sometimes in a very conservative forum. When I explained to those guys that Badgercare required low income families to pay $150/mo in premiums, they thought it sounded like a great program. It struck the perfect balance, placing a doable burden on people, and making health care for all a realistic goal.

Well, Walker had the option to take federal medicaid dollars and strengthen Badgercare, make it work fully as intended without waiting lists. But instead he threw a grenade into it. Badgercare is now just traditional medicaid for the very poorest, it continues in name only.

It's a crying shame, as big of a deal as the blow dealt to unions.

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby snoqueen » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:55 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it was a Thompson era program. That's Tommy Thompson, a Republican who went on to serve as head of DHSS under a Republican president.

What's happened to this country? That's it in a nutshell.

Huckleby
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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Huckleby » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:03 am

snoqueen wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it was a Thompson era program. That's Tommy Thompson, a Republican who went on to serve as head of DHSS under a Republican president


yes, TT created a public option for people earning less than 300% of poverty. He was the original communist plotter.

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:16 am

Counties throughout Wisconsin plan to hold advisory referenda on BadgerCare.

So far, Eau Claire, Dunn and Milwaukee counties have voted to include BadgerCare questions on November ballots. County committees in Outagamie, Dane, Washburn and Bayfield counties have recommended similar moves and all await county board action. The question will also go before committees in Jefferson and Lincoln counties this month. Monroe County voted at the committee level not to ask the question of its constituents. Many of the counties that include the referendum question are following Eua Claire County’s lead for wording, where the question will read 'Shall the governor accept federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid/BadgerCare in Wisconsin to cover persons up to 138% of the federal poverty level?'

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby david cohen » Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:21 pm

In many respects, Tommy Thompson was the last of the "reasonable Republicans". Most folks forget that Thompson was not only receptive to public sector unions but worked hard to KEEP talented state professionals from going into the private ranks. I wasn't a fan of everything TT did, but in the prism of history, he was ok...

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:29 am

Wisconsin's savings under full BadgerCare expansion could have been more than $500 million

"Wisconsin taxpayers would have saved $206 million over two years — 73% more than previously estimated — if officials had fully expanded its main health care program for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act, a new nonpartisan report shows. If officials decide to change course and expand the program in the next state budget, state taxpayers would save another $261 million to $315 million through June 2017, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The bureau serves the Legislature and is widely respected by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. In all, the state could have saved more than $500 million over 31/2 years, the report shows. That would have allowed Gov. Scott Walker and legislators to put more money toward schools or roads or cut taxes more deeply than they did over the last year."


Walker screws over the poor again, all in the name of right-wing politics.

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:58 pm

Some Wisconsin municipalities are holding advisory referenda on Walker's decision to turn down federal money for the expansion of BadgerCare. One Winnebago County supervisor said it's just a trick to get the poor to vote.

Accepting the federal aid would have saved the state $206 million in the current biennial budget, according to a memo prepared by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. If Walker changes course and agrees to the expansion in the 2015-17 budget, it would save Wisconsin between $261 million and $315 million, depending on enrollment.

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby rabble » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:46 pm

"I’m gonna cut to the mustard: I’m gonna tell you exactly what these two pieces of paper represent," said Winnebago County Supervisor Andy Turner. "If you look at them, both of them, who do they affect? They affect the poor. So what’ll happen is that if this is on the ballot, then we use scare tactics to get the poor to come out and vote. And who do the poor usually vote for? You don’t have to answer that one, most everybody knows it. That’s all that these pieces of paper are. Exactly what I said. They’re meant to get poor people out to vote. Plain and simple."

And that's a dirty trick. Because if too many poor people vote, it hurts the party that most everybody knows who it is.

I can't fault the guy's logic. It probably is a perfectly legal ploy to get poor people to vote.

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Bwis53 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:52 pm

...a nice partial antidote to corporations being people...

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Zoti Bemba » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:58 pm

Yes! By encouraging people to be people! It's shocking... possibly even revolutionary!

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Huckleby » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:15 pm

This whole debate, or lack of a debate, in Wisconsin is odd.

Wisconsin, mostly on its own, is already funding a relatively generous medicaid program compared to other states.

The old BadgerCare has been cut way down, Walker screwed a lot of earners between 20K and 35K. OK. But now we are arguing about whether to fund the slice of people between 100% and 138% of poverty.

How does a state helping people up to 400% of poverty, largely with state money, transform into mean-spirited misers who deny the 100%->138% slice federal dollars?

rabble
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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby rabble » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:21 pm

Huckleby wrote:How does a state helping people up to 400% of poverty, largely with state money, transform into mean-spirited misers who deny the 100%->138% slice federal dollars?


Could it have been....

SATAN!?

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Zoti Bemba » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:40 pm

I'm thinking that it's the siren call of "We are too generous! People [i.e., poor people] from other states are taking advantage of our kind hearts and good natures!" I've been hearing that song one way or another from Wisconsin Republicans since I came here twenty years ago. It's a wonderful way to give the congregation a nice warm fuzzy feeling even as they agree to cut their neighbors off at the knees. Tommy Thompson was a master at this, and from what I understand Milwaukee conservative talk radio continues in his divide-and-conquer tradition. You can be poor or you can be people but don't you ever dare claim to be both!

BTW, the income range for Badgercare eligibility may have been generous but the funding was not; waiting lists for enrollment were long enough to effectively deny access. I believe this is the part of the problem that Scott Walker has cynically claimed to have fixed by only covering the "real" poor (shades of Paul Ryan!) as determined by an outdated and inappropriate Federal standard.

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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:07 pm

The drumbeat of criticism in respone to Walker's short-sightedness continues.

Tammy Baldwin blasts Scott Walker over Medicaid money

I'm sure this issue will come up in the future gubernatorial debates (as long as Walker doesn't bow out of them).

Huckleby
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Re: requiem for badgercare

Postby Huckleby » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:18 pm

Zoti Bemba wrote:BTW, the income range for Badgercare eligibility may have been generous but the funding was not; waiting lists for enrollment were long enough to effectively deny access.

True, and the waiting lists were established under Dem Jim Doyle.

I think this points to the need to federalize health care. The costs are felt too directly at local level. We would never have gotten anything like social security or medicare if it had to be decided and funded state by state. Which explains why Republicans hate the federal government, says Captain Obvious.


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