OC Board Asks State To Get Fed Medicaid Money

May 21, 2013

The Oneida County Board has asked the Wisconsin legislature to accept federal Medicaid funds to continue BadgerCare. Governor Walker and Republican leaders have indicated they don't want the money.

Several speakers told the board accepting the money would hurt more than help.

A Board of Health Member...Jackie Cody...says 88,000 parents would be without health coverage from BadgerCare if the money is not accepted. The program does require a payment to be in it...

"...low-income families do not have the resources to afford the premiums, deductibles and co-pays expected with the exchange plans..."

Cody says people without healthcare often use more expensive emergency room care, and those costs are eventually passed along to everyone.

Supervisor Bob Mott felt the money saved could be used to help the local economy...

"....it mentioned that 1000 to 2000 newly covered in Oneida county and you take those dollars they would have available if they are covered as opposed to trying to find their own healthcare....that's a lot of money used in our county...."

Supervisor Bob Martini said the loss of BadgerCare could bring significant costs to Oneida county when people with long-term needs are brought onto the local rolls...

".....so even if you don't care about the human pain and all the other things of not having health care, the actual costs to the county could be signficantly increased...."


Supervisor Jerry Shidell felt getting the money was wrong...

".....every time an expenditure comes up and we take this 'free money' from the federal government here in Oneida county and then they are going out to spend it. The other side of the equation is if the money was never taken from us to begin with we'd be making those same expenditures and perhaps more because the bureaucrats would not be taking their cut of the action..."

The vote was 16-4 to ask the legislature to accept the funding.