Voters to Weigh in on BadgerCare Expansion
July 18, 2014
County Supervisor Nick Zweifel, 608.318.1309
Available Medicaid funding could provide care for thousands; Referendum asks whether state should accept federal dollars
The Dane County Board of Supervisors on Thursday approved a resolution placing the question, “Shall the next Governor and State Legislature accept available federal funds for BadgerCare to ensure that thousands of Wisconsin citizens have access to quality and affordable health coverage?” on the November ballot.
“The decision to reject federal Medicaid funding shrinks the number of Wisconsin residents who have healthcare coverage while increasing the costs to the state for the BadgerCare program,” the resolution reads in part.
“This is not just a fiscal argument. This is also a moral argument,” said Supervisor Nick Zweifel, the lead sponsor of the resolution. “There are thousands of people who have been kicked off of BadgerCare because we have not accepted these federal dollars. We are losing federal tax dollars out of our paychecks that we are not getting back in Wisconsin to help the neediest people in our society. We need to weigh in on this.”
"Dane County is taking a bold step to raise their residents' voices on this vital issue," said Kevin Kane, Lead Organizer at Citizen Action of Wisconsin. "Rural, urban, red, blue and purple; counties around the state are demanding their say on accepting funds for BadgerCare"
Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said the referendum is not likely to increase the cost of conducting the November election.
The resolution passed with a vote of 29 to one, with three Supervisors abstaining.
The text of the resolution is below.
REFERENDUM ON HEALTH CARE
The State of Wisconsin has yet to take advantage of billions of new federal Medicaid dollars which would
improve the state’s BadgerCare program - these federal funds are available at any time, and, upon
acceptance, would provide access to BadgerCare to an estimated 84,000 Wisconsin residents.
The decision to reject federal Medicaid funding shrinks the number of Wisconsin residents who have health
care coverage while increasing the costs to the state for the BadgerCare program.
Nineteen counties have passed resolutions urging Wisconsin to use these federal funds, a position that has
been reiterated by the Wisconsin Counties Association, and these federal funds would bring tens of millions of
dollars into the Dane County economy over the next seven years and help an estimated 4,500 parents and
childless adults in Dane County gain access to BadgerCare.
Having un-insured and under-insured residents has an impact on the Dane County Human Services
Department. It can lead to untreated mental health or substance abuse. Additionally, a lack of preventive
health care can lead to job loss, the inability to function, and loss of self-sufficiency.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Dane County Board of Supervisors hereby directs the Dane
County Clerk to place the following advisory referendum question on the countywide ballot at the election to be
held on November 4, 2014:
“Shall the next Governor and State Legislature accept available federal funds for BadgerCare to ensure
that thousands of Wisconsin citizens have access to quality and affordable health coverage?”
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Dane County legislative delegation,
the Governor, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Wisconsin Counties
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