20 Wisconsin counties sign Medicaid letter

Supervisors ask to receive federal funding directly

La Crosse is one of 20 counties who signed on to a letter asking to circumvent state government and directly receive federal money for Medical expansion programs.

The letter, addressed to State Health Secretary Kitty Rhoades, requests that counties be allowed to negotiate directly with the federal government for Medicaid expansion funding, money Gov. Scott Walker had previously declined to take.

Walker said he refused the $12 billion in federal funding over 10 years in favor of his own plan that would insure 225,000 more people in the state.

According to La Crosse County Board Supervisor Monica Kruse, Walker’s decision could have detrimental effects in the local area. She said it would leave 35,000 people in western Wisconsin ineligible for BadgerCare. Around 3,000 people in La Crosse County alone would be affected.

“A lot of those people will be kicked off BadgerCare, because he has lowered the eligibility for BadgerCare,” Kruse said. “That means 35,000 people, elderly people, disabled people, sometimes mentally handicapped people, are suddenly going to be without health insurance.”

Local healthcare providers are teaming up with county officials to help families through any changes in the health insurance process inthe coming months.