Senate Health Plan Erases Wisconsin Gains in Insurance Coverage

Over the past few years, the number of uninsured Wisconsinites has been significantly reduced. However, the positive downward trend is likely to be reversed under the Senate’s proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and make huge cuts to the Medicaid program.  A new study from the Urban Institute finds that in Wisconsin, under the “Better Care and Reconciliation Act (BCRA),” the uninsured rate will increase by 286,000 people by 2022. Continue reading

The “Pay More for Less” Health Plan

As long as the Senate is changing the name of the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA), they ought to come up with something that paints a more accurate picture of the bill.  Rather than their dull and misleading title, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017,” the Senate should call its bill the “Pay More for Less Plan.”

In the Senate’s version of ACA repeal, people in the individual insurance marketplace, especially the poor and older adults, will end up paying substantially more in premiums and deductibles for less generous plans.  The revised bill: Continue reading

A Similar but Meaner Health Bill for WI Children and Families

After the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed the House in early May, there was a lot of talk from many in the Senate on how they would “start from scratch” to build a much better and more popular bill.  Well, after a thirteen member all-male group of Senators held weeks of secret meetings – blocking the majority of Senators and the public from seeing what was being discussed  – they finally unveiled  a slightly revised bill that essentially contains the same harmful impacts as the House bill. Continue reading

Congressional Plans to Gut the ACA and Medicaid will Reverse Gains Made in Children’s Access to Care

The Senate is considering even deeper cuts to Medicaid funding than those proposed by the House in the American Health Care Act.  These cuts would negatively impact the gains made in health care access for children across the nation.  A report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that 3 million children nationwide would lose health coverage under the American Health Care Act, increasing the uninsured rate for children by 50%.

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Despite Pence’s Claims, the ACA Has Had a Huge Positive Effect in Wisconsin

Vice President Pence is headed to Milwaukee this Saturday in an attempt to build support for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Vice President and Governor Walker plan to put a spotlight on a few Wisconsinites who are unhappy with the ACA, but let’s look at the larger picture and consider the many ways that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites are benefiting from the law.

It is especially important to keep in mind that from 2013 to 2015, after some of the key portions of the ACA took effect, the number of uninsured Wisconsinites fell by almost 200,000, a drop of nearly 40 percent. Continue reading

A Perilous Path ahead for Medicaid? 

Proposed Medicaid Cuts Would Grow to 45 Percent in 2026

Medicaid is at a crossroads.  Changes proposed by the President and the House of Representatives would put it on a path that leads to continual cuts and sharply reduced health care services for seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income children and families.

Both the House bill and the Trump budget would make massive cuts in federal support for Medicaid and change the fundamental nature of the program — in order to pay for huge tax cuts for corporations and wealthy Americans.  That “Robin Hood in reverse” strategy would gradually force states to ration Medicaid services. Continue reading

Wisconsin Ranked 4th in the Nation in Access to Early Education for 4-year-olds

According to the recently released 2016 report on preschool nationwide, Wisconsin is ranked 4th in the nation for the percentage of 4-year-olds in state-funded Pre-Kindergarten programs in the 2015-16 school year. Wisconsin, through its Four-Year-Old Kindergarten Program and its Head Start State Supplement program, enrolled 51,551 children, almost 71 percent of the state’s 4-year-olds and one percent of 3-year-olds. Continue reading

Joint Finance Approves $3.9 Million for Home Visiting and Rejects $34 million for Child Care in Key Decisions

First, the good news. The Joint Committee on Finance unanimously approved the Governor’s proposal for a $3.9 million increase for home visiting in each year of the biennium. The support for home visiting is encouraging.

Now, the bad news. Two critical proposals to improve child care were rejected. The implications are serious. Continue reading