This week, about 92,000 BadgerCare Plus enrollees will be getting letters from the state informing them that they are getting bumped off the program and will have to enroll in private health insurance offered in the new state exchange. The letters explain why they are no longer eligible for BadgerCare (a lowering of the financial thresholds) and provides information on the exchange--along with contact information on how to shop for policies and reminder that the recipient will have to pay for the new coverage upfront. It is the standard governmental notice you would expect to get in the case of a benefits change like this.
But that letter is not good enough for Senator Tammy Baldwin. She wants the governor to send an individual personalized letter to all 92-thousand affected BadgerCare enrollees. Senator Baldwin also wants the Governor's office to follow up with phone calls and to pay somebody to visit those people to make sure they understand what is going on. That's not surprising from someone who believes that everyone is helpless and would be unable to do anything on their own without government assistance. It's why she has voted to include tens of millions of dollars in the Affordable Care Act to create new government programs that will tell people how to apply for new government programs.
Besides, if anyone should be sending letters to the soon-to-be-former BadgerCare enrollees, it should be President Obama. It's the new rules contained in the Affordable Care Act that are allowing Governor Walker to return BadgerCare to what it was intended to be when it first started--health insurance for those living in poverty. (Former Governor Jim Doyle can write half the letters for the President since he was the one that kept expanding eligibility for the program over and over again during his term.)
You see, Governor Walker is making ObamaCare work the way it was intended. The health care exchanges were mandated to provide insurance to people not covered by employer plans. The Federal Government will provide tax vouchers to lower income exchange customers to offset a percentage of the cost based on their income and family status. Those living in poverty will remain in Medicaid programs operated by the state.
But the Obama Administration--in an attempt to obscure the real cost of the Affordable Care Act--initiated a shell game, offering additional Medicaid dollars to states in order to limit the number of people who will be applying for the federal vouchers (making it appear that ObamaCare was cheaper than everyone expected). Walker and a number of other Republican governors have decided not to play the game, and are sending the people who should be in the exchanges to them as required by the law.
Perhaps Senator Baldwin would prefer this letter be sent instead:
Dear Former BadgerCare Plus enrollee,
Welcome to the new world of health care coverage.
The Democrats Who Demanded We Pass The Bill So We Can Find Out What's In It