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Changes Coming For Wisconsin Badgercare

An advocacy group says 101 primary care physicians in Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade and Forest counties will lose 45 percent of their Medicaid or Badgercare reimbursements this week.

Progressive-leaning Citizen Action of Wisconsin's Kevin Kane says a bump in how Medicaid reimburses primary care physicians ends this week. The Affordable Care Act gives incentives for physicians to accept Medicaid patients and that incentive is going away.  Kane says for the past two years, doctors have seen a higher reimbursement to help pay for new patients. He says from their view, the incentive has worked to get poorer people to the doctor. He says 15 states have put up extra money to keep the incentive going, including Michigan and some states like Alabama who rejected federal money. Wisconsin has not put any money into the program and has not accepted federal Obamacare money.

Kane says current Badgercare patients will continue to get care, but other eligible people likely will not...

"....we're encouraging Wisconsin to do the same, to be the next state to do so, otherwise we're going to have about 4,600 doctors across the state see a big pay cut who are trying to cover Medicaid patients...."

Kane gives Northwoods numbers...

"....In Oneida county, there are 47 primary care doctors that we have on record, and over 100 in the Northwoods altogether. Our concern is that why a lot of doctors are not going to say that they're not going to reduce their coverage, or they're not going going to accept patients, what is going to happen is they're not going to have the capacity to accept new ones..."

Kane argues if Wisconsin accepts the federal Obamacare dollars, it would pay for the bump that is going away many times over.

 The Walker Administration has rejected the Obamacare money because they feel it sets Wisconsin up to fund programs that might not have future federal spending.

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