Retirees, seniors protest governor's proposals - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Retirees, seniors protest governor's proposals


By Derek Staahl - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- About 50 seniors from the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans marched to the Capitol with a message Monday: stop giving tax breaks to the wealthy while cutting low-income services.

"It feels like we're transferring funds the wrong direction. We're not helping people who really, really need it. We're helping the corporations, who have plenty," said Edmond Temple of Madison.

In addition to restrictions on collective bargaining and cuts to public education, the seniors say they are concerned about changes to Badgercare and Seniorcare.

"We're going to be back to where we were before Social Security when 50% of seniors lived in poverty," said Wisconsin Alliance president Leon Burzynski.

According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the governor's two-year budget would scale back Seniorcare, and require every recipient to enroll in Federal Medicare Part D.

The Bureau is still analyzing the impact of changes to the program, but says that seniors who are used to paying $30 a year for their coverage would have to start paying monthly premiums. According to the LFB, premiums would cost between $15 and $100 dollars per month, depending on the plan selected.

The governor is trying to get a waiver from the federal government to tighten eligibility standards for Medicaid. If that waiver isn't granted, the state would eliminate Badgercare coverage for as many as 63,000 people, according to the LFB.

The governor says the move would save the state $90 million over two years.

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