19 counties and the city of Kenosha will be hosting an advisory referendum question on Tuesday's ballot concerning federal funds for Medicaid or Badgercare.
The issue is tied to Obamacare. The federal government is offering money to pay for the expansion of Medicaid to help cover more people of low income. Many states accepted the money. Wisconsin and several others did not. Governor Walker said he turned down the money fearing loss of federal funding and offered an alternative which is a type of hybrid coverage. Counties fear a growing number of people without healthcare could turn to local Social Services for help, making it a problem to finance the influx.
Oneida County Health Department Director Linda Conlon gives numbers of persons eligible should the extra money be accepted...
".....about 72,000 adults with dependent children have lost their Badgercare or Medicaid coverage due to the lack of expansion dollars. Locally, about 628 residents could be eligible for Badgercare if the monies were accepted....."
Governor Walker argues since subsidies for Obamacare plans purchased in an exchange begin at 100% of poverty, residents who lost BadgerCare eligibility were able to purchase subsidized plans in the exchanges.
Proponents of accepting the money say the sate lost more than $100 million dollars per year which also trickles down to local economies through healthcare providers.
Oneida, Lincoln, Florence and Iron counties are the Northwoods counties with the referendum question on the ballot.
Another referendum question statewide will be whether funds designated for transportation should stay in that fund and make it impossible to remove those funds to be used in other portions of the state budget.