State health advocate says bill ‘pretty bad’

State health advocate says bill ‘pretty bad’

An advocate for low-income people seeking health care in Wisconsin says the proposal overhauling the federal health care law is “not as bad as it could be, but it’s pretty bad.”

Bobby Peterson is executive director of ABC for Health, a nonprofit Madison law firm that helps people get health care.

Peterson said Tuesday that one of the most concerning elements of the bill is that it would limit total federal Medicaid funding to a formula taking into account enrollment and costs in each state.

Peterson said, “I see health care rationing and health care segregation.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, of Janesville, says the bill will “drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance.”

Gov. Scott Walker is calling the federal health care overhaul bill “an important first step.”

But Walker signals in his first comments on the proposal Tuesday that it remains a work in progress.

Walker said, “We will continue working with the Trump Administration, the Congress, and governors across the country.” Walker is chairman of the Republican Governors Association and has been trying to balance competing needs of GOP governors who want to protect certain elements of the current law.

Walker said the bill unveiled Monday is a step toward lowering costs and increasing choices for health care. He says the goal is a “personalized, patient-centered plan that treats people as humans and not like numbers.”

State lawmakers are also reviewing the federal proposal to see how it will affect Wisconsin’s budget.

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