At a news conference at the Brown County Courthouse last Thursday afternoon which received substantial coverage on local television, local leaders called on State Senators Robert Cowles and Frank Lasee to join a rising chorus of GOP senators who have been wavering in support of Walker’s plan to reject billions in federal Medicaid dollars for BadgerCare. This funding would guarantee health care coverage for low income adults at no cost to the state, and fill in the holes of the BadgerCare program.
The event was led by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, State Senator Dave Hansen, County Supervisor Dan Robinson, the local faith based group JOSHUA, and Wisconsin Jobs Now.
Pressure is mounting on State Senators to reverse Walker’s plan to reject billions in federal dollars for BadgerCare. There was also a major media event in Eau Claire earlier in the week urging Senator Terry Moulton to join other GOP Senators to take the federal money, which also received substantial local media coverage.
Since the Governor’s decision, over 230 Wisconsin organizations from across the political spectrum have called on the legislature to reverse this plan and accept enhanced federal funds for BadgerCare, including 17 hospitals, 44 medical organizations, 47 businesses and 10 newspaper editorial boards. On top of this, County Boards across Wisconsin, including Brown County, are considering a resolution calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to accept these federal funds.
As of last week, there are now enough public declarations of opposition to Walker’s plan by GOP Senators to block it in the Senate.
At the Green Bay event last Thursday, leaders called on Senator Cowles and Senator Lasee to join these bipartisan voices to say “Yes” to BadgerCare, to not reject these federal funds.
“Accepting federal funds to strengthen BadgerCare not a partisan issue,” said State Senator Dave Hansen, whose district flanks both Senator’s districts. “It is about making sure that the hard working people of Wisconsin who have suffered so much since the recession can at least count on having the medical care they need and new jobs to go to.”
“Accepting the federal Medicaid funds means the working poor will have access to basic health care – over 7,000 people in Brown County alone. It means lower health care costs for Brown County residents when they visit local hospitals, who won’t have so many unreimbursed expenses,” said Dan Robinson, Brown County Supervisor and Vice-Chair of the Human Services Committee. “Having this money available for BadgerCare makes sense for Brown County, which is why the County Board is considering a resolution to support accepting the federal funds.”
“Governor Walker’s dangerous scheme to throw tens of thousands of people off BadgerCare and reject billions of dollars in federal funds to expand health care access is losing support every day,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “If enough legislators have the moral courage to stand up for the health care freedom of their own constituents, Walker’s misguided plan will be rejected.”
The decision to accept federal funds for Badger- Care is currently before the Joint Finance Committee, and may be voted on within the next couple of weeks.
Over 230 Organizations who have publicly take a stance on accepting federal funds for BadgerCare www.gothealthcarewi.com/endorsement_list