State administrators are asking for an additional $650 million in the next budget to pay for the rising cost of health care programs for the poor and elderly in Wisconsin.
The Department of Health Services has submitted the request to Gov. Scott Walker, as did other agencies, as he prepares for the next two-year budget cycle. Health officials say that in addition to rising health care costs, more people are joining the programs and using more services. The federal government has also cut its aid to states.
The funding request is for Medicaid programs, which are paid for jointly by the state and federal governments. The Medicaid programs include Family Care for the elderly and disabled and BadgerCare Plus for low-income families.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the proposal by Secretary Dennis Smith doesn't include any changes in benefits.