Chippewa Becomes 12th County to Announce November Referendum on BadgerCare

Over 2 million residents to see advisory referendum on accepting federal funds for BadgerCare on November ballot.

Last night the Chippewa County Board approved, by 12-1 margin, placing an advisory referendum 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 12 Wisconsin counties have adopted this referendum, Jefferson, St Croix, Bayfield, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Dunn, Lincoln, Clark, Outagamie, Dane, Milwaukee, with more following.

Already counties representing over 2 million Wisconsin residents, over one-third of the state, have put this question to voters for the November ballot. More counties are considering similar referendum.

The negative impact of rejecting these federal funds, up to $1 million a day, is particularly devastating at the local level. With fewer people guaranteed access to health coverage they can truly afford, uncompensated care costs will remain high in local hospitals and county-supported clinics, forcing cost-shifting. A recent report from Citizen Action of Wisconsin found that private insurance rates are $251 higher 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.

“Rural counties, urban counties, red, blue and purple counties, counties of all stripes are given their constituents the democratic freedom to voice their perspective on one of the most pressing public policy question of the day: whether Wisconsin should accept federal funds for BadgerCare," said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

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