UPDATE: Advocates for Poor Question Walker's Medicaid Plan

UPDATED: Thursday, February 14, 2013 --- 12:25 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Advocates for the poor in Wisconsin are questioning whether Gov. Scott Walker's plan to move more people off of state Medicaid plans and onto a federal marketplace where they will purchase private insurance will work as promised.

Walker says the plan he unveiled Wednesday will result in about 5,000 fewer people being on Medicaid, but increase the overall number covered by insurance by 224,580. Those people would purchase their coverage through the federally run health insurance exchange and not be covered by Medicaid.

But Bobby Peterson, head of the public interest law firm ABC for Health, said Thursday the poorest people kicked out of Medicaid will have a hard time affording even the $19 a month coverage under the exchange.

Peterson says people like them will lose insurance coverage.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

UPDATED Wednesday, February 13, 2013--5:40p.m.

MADISON--The governor says Wisconsin will not be participating in the federal government's expansion of Medicaid, as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

Instead, he says Wisconsin can reduce the number of uninsured people by 224,580 by helping them access health insurance through the federal health insurance exchange.

Under the governor's plan, those in poverty will be covered by Medicaid. And people earning up to four times the poverty level could get federal health insurance premium subsidies to help purchase insurance on the exchange.

The governor says his plan does depend on the exchange being operational; he says changes won't be made unless that's up and running. Currently that's supposed to be January 1, 2014.

UPDATED Wednesday, February 13, 2013 --- 2:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Gov. Scott Walker says he won't expand Wisconsin's Medicaid services to 175,000 childless adults as the federal health care overhaul law allows.

Instead, Walker announced Wednesday a hybrid approach that he says will drop the state's uninsured non-elderly adults from 14 percent to 7 percent.

Walker's plan would tighten the income threshold to qualify for Medicaid, but also lift the cap on a program that covers childless adults. He says the net effect would insure 224,580 more people.

Walker was among the last Republican governors to decide whether to move forward with the expansion. Six Republican governors have agreed to the Medicaid expansion.

Wisconsin's hospitals and many medical and health advocacy groups had urged Walker to accept the federal money to pay for the expansion of services.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 --- 1:08 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker plans to announce on Wednesday his much-anticipated decision on whether Wisconsin will expand its Medicaid services as allowed under the federal health care overhaul law.

Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said Tuesday that Walker's decision would be made public Wednesday.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says Walker has not told him what his decision is.

Democrats and a host of health care advocacy groups and others, including Wisconsin hospitals, have been urging Walker to take the expansion.

Six Republican governors have already said they would expand Medicaid as allowed under President Barack Obama's law.

An estimated 175,000 childless adults in Wisconsin are expected to qualify for Medicaid starting in 2014 under an expansion.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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