Medicaid and BadgerCare debate continues - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Medicaid and BadgerCare debate continues


By Julia Fello - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker is proposing to cut a half-billion dollars from Medicaid, which has more than a million people worried about whether they'll have health insurance.

"My daughter Abigail has Down syndrome. Basically she can do anything - be like a typical kid but everything needs to be taught with a little extra care. She has a hole in her heart, she has a thyroid condition," said Madison resident Danielle Conley.

As Conley goes through the list of health setbacks her 6-year-old lives with, she's worried about her future and whether she'll be covered on BadgerCare under the Governor's budget proposal.

"If we don't give her this access while she's young and learning and eager to improve, I'm not sure what it will be like down the line," said Conley.

Non-profit organization Healthwatch Wisconsin held a two-day public hearing in downtown Madison, to give people the opportunity to speak against the bill.

The budget proposes $500 million dollars in cuts to Medicaid.

The proposal would also allow the Department of Health Services secretary to enact emergency rules to change Medicaid and BadgerCare eligibility. Right now, the legislature has that power. It includes co-pays, benefits, and cost-sharing for providers.

Governor Walker says this would give the state the flexibility it needs to handle the rising costs of health care.

"It's just so important we keep our insurance intact, it's not logical to take any money from this area," said Roxan Perez, who spoke at the event.

For Conley, it's more important than anything to her, because she wants her daughter to grow up a proud, young woman.

"That's what we're using it for, so she can be a contributing, tax-paying, independent, working citizen," said Conley.

Governor Walker argues health care costs make up half of the state's budget deficit.

In an interview 27 News conducted about two weeks ago, Walker says these changes will allow the state to make - particularly with BadgerCare not a permanent entitlement.

To learn more about Healthwatch Wisconsin, click here.

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