At a news conference at the State Capitol Tuesday Sen. Jon Erpenbach and Rep. Jon Richards announced a new bill to roll back Governor Walker’s slashing cuts to BadgerCare. They were joined by health care advocates and BadgerCare enrollees to unveil a bill which will take away the power of the Walker Administration to force tens of thousands off BadgerCare.
The BadgerCare Protection Act bill repeals the elements of Act 10 and the State Budget which give the Walker Administration the authority to slash BadgerCare. The bill is funded by rolling back some Walker tax giveaways to large corporations which allow multi-state corporations to shelter profits in other states, reducing their Wisconsin taxes.
“At a time when Wisconsin needs to make tough choices, the right choice is to make sure families have access to affordable health insurance,” said Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee). “The wrong choice is to deny health care coverage so corporations and the wealthy can get tax giveaways.”
“It is unconscionable for Scott Walker to force tens of thousands off BadgerCare in order to open up tax loopholes which enable some of the largest corporations in Wisconsin to shelter profits out of state,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
“The BadgerCare Protection Act restores basic fairness. By merely asking large corporations to pay their fair share of state taxes we can protect the health security of tens of thousands of Wisconsin families during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”
The BadgerCare Protection Act:
- Prohibits the Department of Health Services (DHS) from implementing higher cost sharing requirements and other changes to BadgerCare that will result in tens of thousands of Wisconsin families losing coverage;
- Prohibits DHS from eliminating BadgerCare eligibility for the 53,000 non-disabled, non-pregnant adults who have family incomes between 133 percent and 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level; and
- Protects BadgerCare by repealing a new corporate tax loophole in Gov. Walker’s budget that costs state taxpayers about $40 million annually, without requiring the creation of a single job.
Twenty-two organizations have endorsed the Badger- Care Protection Act, including Citizen Action of Wisconsin: Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, 9 to 5 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, Wisconsin Jobs Now, Milwaukee Area Labor Council, Grassroots Citizens of Wisconsin, Coalition for Wisconsin Health, Greater Wisconsin Committee, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, AFSCME, South Central Federation of Labor, National Association of Social Workers Wisconsin Chapter, AFT Wisconsin, Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, ABC for Health, Wisconsin Physicians for Social Responsibility.