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Wisconsin Senate takes up Medicaid delay Thursday

Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.
Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin senators will meet at high noon today to consider a three-month delay before dropping tax-funded health insurance for almost 100,000 people.  

The Senate will act on what the Assembly approved 15 days ago -- giving BadgerCare recipients above the poverty line until March 31st to signup for Obamacare before losing their state coverage.  

The same goes for 20,000 people in the state's high risk insurance pool that's about to be disbanded.  

Most minority Democrats oppose the delay. That's because it would make 83,000 childless adults below the poverty line wait another three months to get their first BadgerCare coverage.  

Republicans blame the Obamacare signup difficulties online. The state's proposals will save taxpayers $23 million.  

But Senate Democrat Julie Lassa of Stevens Point says the savings could have been $100 million, had Republican Governor Scott Walker not rejected Obamacare Medicaid funds. Lassa also claims the state could have created 10,000 new jobs, which would have helped Walker keep his promise to create a quarter-million new jobs during his term.  

Walker has all but admitted he won't reach that goal anyway. He said he didn't take the Medicaid funds because the federal government could cut them off eventually, leaving the state with a huge expense it might not be able to afford.  

Democrats say they could have taken Medicaid money only for the three-month delay period -- but GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said it didn't make sense to change a major fiscal policy for that short of a time.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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