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Medicaid Cuts Still In Limbo

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Wisconsin State Capitol at night
Wisconsin State Capitol at night

MADISON, Wis. (WHBL) - It’s been two months since Governor Scott Walker approved a 500-million-dollar spending cut in Wisconsin’s Medicaid programs. And advocates for the poor and the elderly are still waiting to learn what the Republican governor has in mind. Some proposals – like reducing Badger-Care-Plus – need the federal government’s blessing before the end of the year. And the state Legislature’s finance panel must also pass judgment on the Medicaid cuts. In the meantime, a dozen advocacy groups fear that Walker will not give recipients enough time to comment on the changes before they have to be rushed off to Washington. State health services spokeswoman Stephanie Smiley said the plans will be made public before they’re sent to the federal government. Smiley tells the Wisconsin State Journal we should get more details in the next few weeks. The changes could drastically affect one-of-every-five state residents. About one-point-two million Wisconsinites are on some type of Medicaid program. The half-billion dollars in Medicaid cuts would happen over the next two years. In March, Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith said the changes could include higher premiums and co-pays – reimbursing hospitals based on the quality of their services – and not increasing Medicaid payments to doctors who handle complex patients.

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