MacIver News Service | November 4, 2013[Milwaukee, Wisc…] Mayor Tom Barrett is the latest Obamacare supporter to admit there are problems with the new federal health care marketplace, and is requesting a delay in Wisconsin’s changes to BadgerCare, the state’s Medicaid program.
In a letter to Governor Scott Walker, Barrett said, “the simple solution to this problem is to postpone implementation of all BadgerCare changes until March 31, 2014.”
The problem Barrett is referring to is the complete failure of the launch of the HealthCare.gov website. So few individuals and families have been able to sign up for Obamacare that members of Congress have been calling for a delay in the individual mandate. The mandate requires everyone to have health insurance starting in 2014.
Barrett is calling for a delay in the reforms to Medicaid in Wisconsin for similar reasons. The 2013-15 state budget reduces the eligibility for BadgerCare from 200 percent to 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) for able-bodied childless adults, but eliminates the enrollment cap. Those individuals that are between 100 and 200 percent FPL will transition to the Obamacare exchange.
The Milwaukee Mayor fears these people will not be able to sign up for Obamacare by the December 15th deadline to guarantee coverage beginning January 1st.
Under Walker’s budget, it is possible to delay the reforms made to BadgerCare if the exchange is not up and running. However, no delay has been announced.