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Walker Says He’ll Make Sure Ex-BadgerCare Recipients Won’t Lose Coverage

Photo Credit: Jackie Guthrie (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Gov. Scott Walker is promising to do something to prevent 90,000 Wisconsin residents from losing their health care coverage on Jan. 1.

Because of the way the state connected with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 90,000 or so people are due to be moved off BadgerCare and into insurance coverage under the federal marketplace exchanges. Start-up of the exchanges, however, remains slow and Democrats have been asking Walker to make sure the BadgerCare clients don’t lose coverage.

Walker said he’ll announce some alternatives within a few days.

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“We’re not going to let people fall through the cracks,” said Walker. “As someone who opposed the Affordable Care Act, I take no solace in the fact that the rollout is not working because it ultimately affects people in my state.”

Walker defends his decision not to take some federal money months ago and avoid the BadgerCare problem. He said ACA supporters should focus on fixing the enrollment problems.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is repeating a call he made almost two weeks ago for a BadgerCare extension until the end of March. He said he’s not alone.

“I know that others have now joined my call,” said Barrett. “I know that U.S. Sen. (Tammy) Baldwin, I know that hospital executives, I know that groups that are advocates for low-income individuals have now joined the chorus.”

Barrett said he looks forward to seeing the details of Walker’s alternatives.