Rock Becomes 13th 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, by a 20-7 vote, the Rock County Board approved placing an advisory referendum on the November ballot asking voters whether the State of Wisconsin should accept enhanced federal funds for BadgerCare rejected by Walker and conservatives in the Legislature. So far 13 counties have adopted this referendum, Rock, Chippewa, Jefferson, St Croix, Bayfield, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Dunn, Lincoln, Clark, Outagamie, Dane, Milwaukee, with more following.

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.

If Wisconsin were to accept enhanced federal Medicaid funds for BadgerCare, 84,700 Wisconsin residents would gain access to BadgerCare, bringing in over $2.4 billion into the state’s economy by 2021. An estimated 3,030 of those Wisconsinites reside in Rock county. See the county by county breakdown here.

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.

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