CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR! Important News from Sen. Chris Larson:
“Legislation to remove the cap placed on FamilyCare received unanimous approval in the Senate on February 14, 2012. Unfortunately, Assembly Republicans continue to play games, which included attaching an amendment to this bill that simply seeks to comply with the order handed down by the federal government that the cap on Medicaid programs, including FamilyCare, be removed.
We are fast approaching the end of the current legislative session and are quickly running out of time to pass legislation to remove the cap. If Republicans are unwilling comply with the federal mandate and pass this bill, it will have to be reintroduced when the next legislative session begins in January 2013. This would mean turning our backs on our most vulnerable neighbors.
The Importance of Our Health Safety Net
Currently, about one out of five Wisconsin residents rely on our state’s health safety net programs for their health care needs. The number of individuals enrolled in Wisconsin’s Medicaid programs has been steadily increasing in recent years due to our state’s ailing economy, continued loss of family-supporting jobs, and increased health care costs. Given the hardships our neighbors our facing, it is one of the worst times to consider any additional cuts to our health safety net.
FamilyCare is a bipartisan community-based, long-term care program that plays a vital role in Wisconsin’s health safety net. The program serves our state’s most vulnerable neighbors, including the elderly and individuals with disabilities, to enhance their health and quality of life.
As you may know, Governor Walker’s 2011-2013 Biennial Budget instituted a cap on the FamilyCare program. During the budget debate, my Democratic colleagues and I expressed our concerns about how family, friends and neighbors would suffer by being denied these life-saving services. Unfortunately, voices from across Wisconsin were once again ignored and the cap went into effect on July 1, 2011.
This past December, the federal government stepped in, ordering Governor Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature to pass legislation immediately in order to lift the caps on FamilyCare. As a result, Senate Bill 380 and Assembly Bill 477 were introduced. If the Legislature fails to pass Senate Bill 380 or Assembly Bill 477, Wisconsin will have to forfeit the $1.75 billion it is expected to receiving in matching federal funds for our Medicaid programs, including FamilyCare.
As a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 380 and Assembly Bill 477, I will continuing doing what I can to usher these bills through the legislative process. I will also continue to monitor the FamilyCare program to ensure that our family, friends, and neighbors receive the same level of coverage and quality of care once the cap has been removed.”
Click here to view a copy of this legislation.”