Baldwin Responds To Walker On Health Care Enrollment Numbers

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Baldwin Responds To Walker On Health Care Enrollment Numbers

Premiere Date: 
June 6, 2014

The US senator says Gov. Walker should detail what happened to those who left BadgerCare.

 

Episode Transcript: 

Frederica Freyberg:

On the last "Here and Now" we interviewed the deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services about the 82,000 people at or below the poverty level who receive Medicaid healthcare coverage in the state. We asked about the 63,000 people who lost Badgercare, and whether they've enrolled through the marketplace as was the governor's intended course. US senator Tammy Baldwin has been calling on the governor to provide that information, saying the federal government approved his plan on the condition the state would track those people's health care enrollment. Well, the governor shot back with a letter suggesting otherwise. This week I asked her about her reaction.  

Recently Governor Scott Walker called on you in his letter to direct a comprehensive review of whether people transitioning off Badgercare were in fact signed up for health care through the marketplace. And he also seemed to suggest that really this is the federal government's responsibility. What's your reaction to that?

Tammy Baldwin:

Well, only the administration of Governor Walker has the data needed to answer these questions. The federal government, while slow in providing some of the information about who had successfully enrolled in the federal marketplace, has done so. And now it's up to the governor to tell us where these 63,000 Wisconsinites are now. Have they successfully enrolled in the federal marketplace or not?

Frederica Freyberg:

Now, the deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services told us that some people who lost Badgercare may not in fact have signed up for the marketplace coverage and instead perhaps gone back to employer coverage and those people can't be tracked. What about that?

Tammy Baldwin:

Well, again, the governor's administration is the only place where this data is available right now, and the governor made many pledges to the state of Wisconsin about this health care transition. He needs to now be held to account. He needs to provide the information he has. And we need to know. It has been one of my top priorities to make sure that this group of roughly 63,000 Wisconsinites successfully becomes insured, especially since the governor made the decision not to expand Medicaid in this state.

Frederica Freyberg:

So you don't feel as though the federal government can do more toward kind of delivering these numbers.

Tammy Baldwin:

No. At this point, what the federal government has done is provided to the Walker administration the nearly 139,000 names of people who have enrolled in the federal exchange so the governor can match them against those he's kicked off Medicaid.

Frederica Freyberg:

On the other side of the Wisconsin equation, 82,000 people are now insured through Medicaid. That's 19,000 more than previously. And that waiting list for that coverage is now gone. So that's a good thing.

Tammy Baldwin:

Absolutely. What it shows is the Affordable Care Act has provided a lot more opportunities across the country, and certainly in Wisconsin. Governor Walker has admitted that the Affordable Care Act health exchange has added benefits and that Wisconsin has surpassed its targets. But still the question goes back to this group of over 60,000 Wisconsinites who he kicked off Badgercare, he kicked off Medicaid. And now he's pledged throughout that their transition would be smooth and seamless and he can't tell the Wisconsin people what happened to them.

Frederica Freyberg:

Have you heard from any of these people?

Tammy Baldwin:

You know, we have on an individual basis over the course of the transition, but we don't have any sense until the governor comes forward with these numbers of what-- You know, where are these individuals and families now? 


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