Wisconsin Legislators Set to Scrap Medicaid Expansion Proposal

From Crystal at NAMI Wisconsin:

NAMI Advocates –

Please see the first story in the Wisconsin Health News regarding Wisconsin Republican’s plan to scrap the Medicaid expansion (reprinted below). They plan to meet to vote on Thursday, May 9th. Ironically this is the same day that we are hosting our advocacy day so we will have 150 NAMI advocates at the Capitol that day.

If you don’t plan to be in attendance, and especially if you live in a district that is represented by a member of Joint Finance please give your state legislators a call.  I’ve attached my testimony that I submitted during the JFC public hearings. Feel free to use any of those talking points. If you need assistance on how to contact your legislator, please let me know or follow the link below.

Wisconsin Legislature page: https://legis.wi.gov.

Written testimony to Finance Committee: Download (pdf)

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GOP Leaders Set to Scrap Medicaid Expansion Proposal

The leaders of the Joint Finance Committee plan to scrap Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to expand Medicaid, as well as a series of other healthcare proposals in his budget, according to a memo sent to committee members Wednesday.

“The bottom line is his budget is unsustainable, irresponsible and jeopardizes the progress we’ve made in the last eight years,” Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, said in a statement.

JFC also plans remove provisions relating to medical marijuana legalization, licensure of dental therapists and a proposed prescription drug importation program.

Darling and Nygren said they expect some of the proposals to be taken up as separate legislation.

JFC member Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, said Republicans are removing some of the most popular items in Evers’ proposed budget like Medicaid expansion.

“Who could be against covering 80,000 more people?” she said at a press conference Thursday morning.

The Republican-controlled committee plans to take up a motion next Thursday removing provisions from the budget that would:

  • expand Medicaid to cover 82,000 more Wisconsinites. Evers’ administration estimated the proposal would save $325 million in state money.
  • establish a prescription drug importation program.
  • require drug manufacturers and others to notify the insurance commissioner of certain price increases.
  • enshrine Affordable Care Act insurance protections for those with pre-existing conditions into state law.
  • create a state medical marijuana program and decriminalize certain offenses.
  • license dental therapists to practice in the state.
  • provide $40 million in bonding to support the replacement of lead service lines.
  • provide $6 million annually to eliminate copayments for prescription drugs in the Medicaid program.
  • allow the Group Insurance Board to contract with an entity to establish workplace clinics in state facilities.
  • repeal work, premium, health screening and emergency room copayment requirements for childless adults in Medicaid.
  • repeal a directive to the Department of Health Services to create a Medicaid savings account program.
  • scrap Joint Finance Committee approval of various Medicaid program changes.
  • allow individuals who file whistleblower complaints on Medicaid fraud to receive some percentage of the recovery.
  • scrap a state law requiring DHS to apply for the federal Title X family planning grant program and make other changes to family planning grant programs.

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