Medicaid cuts inch forward in Wisconsin

Wisconsin lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to eliminate Medicaid coverage for about 23,000 people by raising income eligibility, reported the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Another 44,000 Wisconsinites would also have to pay premiums to the BadgerCare program due to the eligibility changes, according to the LaCrosse Tribune.

The proposal, which was passed by the Legislature's joint finance committee last week, is actually far less severe than the cuts originally proposed by Gov. Scott Walker, according to the Tribune. Walker had originally suggested cutting as many as 67,000 people from the BadgerCare rolls, although that proved unlikely to be approved by the federal government.

As a result, the cuts would save BadgerCare about $36.5 million through mid-2013, as opposed the more than $90 million originally envisioned under the Walker proposal, noted the Journal-Sentinel.

However, BadgerCare still faces a projected budget deficit of $128 million through mid-2013 even with the cuts in place.

The reductions, if passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Walker, would still require approval by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

The proposed cuts in Wisconsin come on the heels of similar proposals to slash Medicaid funding in Arizona, Florida and New Hampshire.

For more information:
- read the Journal-Sentinel article
- here's the Tribune article