Wisconsin nurses campaign against Walker’s BadgerCare planThe Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA) is worried about Governor Scott Walker's plan to cut nearly 90,000 BadgerCare recipients from the program.
By: By Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA) is worried about Governor Scott Walker's plan to cut nearly 90,000 BadgerCare recipients from the program.
The expectation is that those eliminated from the program would buy private health insurance from an online marketplace.
The WNA is asking for the state's 80,000 RNs to contact lawmakers in support of the Medicaid expansion called for under the Affordable Care Act. The group’s director, Gina Dennik-Champion, says if BadgerCare eligibility is tightened, more people could go without health care because they don’t have the money to pay for it. The Governor wants BadgerCare limited to those at 100 percent of the federal poverty level.
“When we look at who those folks are, they are making no more than $11,500 a year,” Champion said. “And there’s a lot of those folks. And [I’m] not sure how they’d be able to afford a premium, how they would be able to afford any deductibles and a co-pay. ”
The Walker administration predicts 93 percent of former BadgerCare recipients will buy private insurance from an online marketplace that may or may not be ready by this fall. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said in a report it’s likely fewer low income people would actually purchase coverage.
Dennik-Champion says many will get care at the ER where they can’t be turned away, with the costs passed on to everyone else.
“The ongoing cycle of emergency room hospital, back to the community, no care in the community and I can just see the cost of health care really skyrocketing,” she said.
Twenty-six states, some of them led by Republican governors, are expanding Medicaid with the understanding the federal government will pay 90 percent of costs the first three years.