To no one’s surprise the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance committee Monday approved Gov. Walker’s short-term Medicaid/BadgerCare proposal, meaning they got it half right. That also means there’s still time for the whole legislature to get it all right.
As it stands the plan would extend coverage for three months to those who otherwise may not be able to get coverage through the new federal health exchange. But it’d be paid for by delaying coverage to the poorest state citizens for those same three months. How is it Republicans can’t see that for a bad deal? They can’t because they are more interested in the political benefits of portraying the Affordable Care Act as a failure than getting health coverage to poor people.
Senator Tim Cullen gets it right, and not just because he is perhaps the most moderate person in the legislature. He’s also a former insurance industry executive who knows how health care really works. His solution of accepting three months of Federal Medicaid money to cover both groups, or simply having the state pay the costs makes sense, decent, human sense. We’d like to think the State Senate at least might have the heart to do just that.