MacIver News Service | December 4, 2013[Madison, Wisc…] The Assembly passed a special session bill on Wednesday to delay the reforms to BadgerCare adopted in the 2013-15 state budget.
The state budget included a proposal that would transition about 72,000 individuals off of BadgerCare on to the Obamacare exchange. However, due to the failure of the Obamacare launch, many of these individuals have not been able to purchase insurance.
Governor Scott Walker called for a special session in November to delay the transition until April 1st to give Wisconsinites more time to sign up on HealthCare.gov.
“This Special Session Bill will continue BadgerCare coverage to those awaiting the roadblock of the dysfunctional $600 million Obamacare website,” said Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac). “As a state, this is an appropriate move to protect our citizens from losing coverage due to a lack of planning and execution from the Obama Administration.”
Democrats were opposed to the delay because it also delayed 83,000 individuals under the poverty level from signing up for BadgerCare.
“Today, Assembly Republicans turned their backs on protecting the health and lives of Wisconsinites,” said Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison). “Their actions in choosing to deny healthcare to thousands of Wisconsinites is inexplicable, unconscionable and immoral.”
The Joint Committee on Finance passed the delay 11-2 on Monday and the Assembly passed it Wednesday on a 64-32 vote.
The Senate is expected to take up the special session bill on December 19th.
Watch MacIver’s special feature on Obamacare in Wisconsin here to see how the state came to a special session.