This is a big week for Wisconsin counties and speaking out for their interests. Earlier in the week the Wisconsin Counties Association passed a resolution calling on the state to accept the federal funds for BadgerCare as part of the Affordable Care Act. The WCA followed up the vote with a press release announcing
"Funding for the [BadgerCare/Medicaid] Program has been an issue for us for years and we will continue to advocate on behalf of Wisconsin’s counties on this matter"
This is is the culmination of county leaders spending months advocating for the state to take these federal funds. Passing resolutions, sending letters and even proposing alternative means of accepting these funds.
On Tuesday, Outagamie County became the 16th Wisconsin county to vote in favor of accepting federal Medicaid funds
Outagamie County, which covers most of Appleton, voted on Tuesday in favor of calling on the state to change its mind and accept the federal funds for BadgerCare. A decision that they have in their power to make. This vote is important for a number of reasons. Outagamie County is not a member of the Wisconsin Counties Association, and as such didn't need to follow the position that the association took and yet they did! Reminding Wisconsinites that this issue is vitally important and a moral imperative.
Additionally, this district includes the state senate districts of Senator Michael Ellis and Senator Robert Cowles. Both of these senators were seen as wavering in their support for Walker's plan of rejecting federal Medicaid funds but neither of them changed their votes when crunch time came. It seems that perhaps these senators should have spent more time consulting their constituents.
This issue is not going away, and more and more counties and organizations are speaking up as to why this issue of accepting federal funds for BadgerCare is important. Because of the over 250 organizations that have publicly called for accepting these funds, and because of how important this is to the tens of thousands of residents, it is our argument that this will happen, it is just a question of how long politicians like Walker can hold out. Already the Governor of Pennsylvania has changed his mind, let's not be surprised if more do.