By State Representative, Leon D. Young
The State Senate met in Special Session late last week, and quickly proceeded to finalize pitting one group of Wisconsin residents, desperately needing health care coverage, against another.
In typical Scott Walker and GOP fashion, the Republican majority attempted to make it appear that they were offering a very viable solution to a problem that was essentially the creation of the Democrats in Washington, D.C.
In a veiled attempt to seize the moral high ground on this issue, Walker offered a plan to delay Medicaid coverage for some while also keeping others on the program longer than anticipated.
The proposal specially delays until April the removal of an estimated 72,000 people who earn above poverty level from the state’s BadgerCare Medicaid program.
Walker says he wanted to give them more time to sign up insurance marketplace which was beset with problems when it launched in October.
Here’s the rub.
To pay for keeping them on the program longer, the plan also delays extending Medicaid to 83,000 childless adults who currently don’t have coverage.
It’s important to remember that the governor had specifically promised to extend medical coverage to this uninsured population commencing January 1, 2014.
Now these individuals will have to forego having their medical needs met for another 3 months, which in certain instances may be potentially fatal.
Let’s examine the truth.
The BadgerCare dilemma that confronted the Legislature was never an “either/or” decision.
Both of the effected groups could have had their medical needs met by simply making the decision: to accept the federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage fully in Wisconsin.
Moreover, Scott Walker’s initial decision to refuse this Medicaid funding actually created The health care crisis in Wisconsin in the first place.
And, in the final analysis, Walker and his cohorts advanced this false [BadgerCare] choice in order to deceive the public and save political face.
Let me close by wishing everyone a joyous and safe Holiday Season.