Under the proposal backed by Republican Governor Scott
Walker, about 72,000 people now due to be shifted from
Wisconsin's BadgerCare Medicaid program on January 1 would be
allowed to stay on until the end of March.
The Republican-led Senate is scheduled to take up the proposal
on Thursday, three weeks after the Republican-led Assembly
approved the proposal. If the Senate passes the proposal, it
goes to Walker for his signature.
The HealthCare.gov website for the Affordable Care Act,
popularly known as Obamacare, had a rocky start on October 1.
Wisconsin officials said only 877 residents were able to sign up
for the federal healthcare exchange that month.
Earlier in December, federal officials said the site was
performing markedly better after a self-imposed deadline to fix
Walker called a special session to consider the delay, which
would give the BadgerCare recipients more time to enroll in the
federal marketplace for health insurance.
Wisconsin was one of 36 states that chose not to create a state
exchange, instead relying on the federal government to create an
exchange where people can shop for health insurance.
Walker's state budget signed in June tightened the income
qualifications for BadgerCare to 100 percent of the federal
poverty level from 200 percent, pushing 72,000 people toward the
federal health insurance program.
At the same time, the plan expanded BadgerCare eligibility to
about 83,000 childless adults with household incomes less than
100 percent of the federal poverty level. The measure lawmakers
are considering in the special session would require those
adults to wait until April 1 to enroll in BadgerCare.
(Editing by Eric Walsh)
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