Oneida, Wood, Portage Counties, and City of Kenosha join 13 others in placing advisory referendum on Nov. 4 ballot
This week 3 county boards (Oneida, Wood, and Portage) and one city council (Kenosha) approved placing advisory referendums on the November ballot asking voters whether the State of Wisconsin should accept enhanced available federal funds for BadgerCare rejected by Walker and conservatives in the Legislature.
So far 17 Wisconsin localities have placed similar referendums on the November ballot, Rock, Chippewa, Jefferson, St Croix, Bayfield, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Dunn, Lincoln, Clark, Outagamie, Dane, Milwaukee, Oneida, Portage, and Wood Counties, and the City of Kenosha. Additional localities are considering similar action in the next week.
The negative impact of rejecting these federal funds, $561 million in the current and the next state budget, is particularly devastating at the local level. With fewer people guaranteed access to health coverage they can truly afford, uncompensated care costs are higher in local hospitals and county-supported clinics, forcing cost-shifting. A report from Citizen Action of Wisconsin found that private insurance rates are needless higher than other states because of the rejection of Medicaid dollars for BadgerCare.
The recent news revealing that as many as 38,000 of those forced off BadgerCare were unable to enroll in Marketplace plans, falling into a coverage gap, provides additional evidence that rejecting federal dollars is dangerous public policy.
“This is old fashioned Wisconsin democracy at work,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “A wave of BadgerCare referendums sweeping Wisconsin will give voters across the state the opportunity to weigh in on a critical public issue.”
If Wisconsin were to accept enhanced federal Medicaid funds for BadgerCare, 87,000 Wisconsin residents would gain access to BadgerCare. See a county by county breakdown here.
Support the BadgerCare Referendums!