State should seek federal health care funds
(This letter was sent to Door County Board Supervisor Susan Kohout, chairwoman of the County Board Legislative Committee.)
Dear Chairperson Kohout,
As you are aware, in conjunction with passage of the current state budget, the State of Wisconsin and the Department of Health Services has limited BadgerCare health insurance to people living within the federal 100 percent of poverty level. I have provided you information from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and a Wisconsin Council on Children and Families showing that this policy projects that in Door County 643 people will be kicked off BadgerCare and 729 uninsured denied BadgerCare. Estimated result: 1,372 of our low income, hard working, taxpayer, neighbors are left uninsured in Door County by the state not accepting BadgerCare's Federal expansion funding.
Recall that this restrictive policy approach was taken despite recommendations to expand from the Wisconsin Hospital Association and other major health providers in Wisconsin. Also recall that coincident state policy suggested those excluded from BadgerCare could be referred to the Federal Affordable Care Act marketplace for insurance options. However, the ACA referral alternative is not a solution for the present because the ACA alternative will take time to become functional after starting Oct. 1.
This leaves our poorest Door County neighbors, again, without insurance. The real stories to verify this can be had from our neighbors trying to stay healthy for the work world without insurance: our waitresses, our landscapers, our cleaning workers, our retail clerks, etc. We can do better for our low-wage work-force neighbors through expanding BadgerCare at the 138 percent poverty level. This also will lessen the financial jeopardy these neighbors endure without insurance.
A solution to this funding impasse:
Door County can request a demonstration pilot project be included in a Medicaid (MA) waiver request to the federal government from Wisconsin that would allow interested counties the opportunity to access federal enhanced MA funds to expand BadgerCare to 133 percent of the poverty level. Specifically our Door County board can send a letter to the Wisconsin secretary of the Department of Health Services, Kitty Rhoades, to request an MA waiver. As you are aware more than 30 other county board leaders around Wisconsin have sent Secretary Rhoades this request and a growing number of county boards in Wisconsin have passed formal resolutions to this effect.
A precedent for this strategy was granted in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and can help our Door County uninsured. Ask the most recent Wisconsin counties that have taken this action, Clark and Wood counties. Door County should seize this opportunity, also.
Thank you for your interest, and I will send a copy of this letter to the local newspapers to suggest all concerned citizens of Door County attend your Legislative Committee meeting at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Government Center Chambers Room, where this matter will be considered.
Society thanks donors, attendees
Christ Child Society recently held its fundraiser luncheon and style show. Because of the donors and Door County Medical Center who sponsored the event, and a good attendance, the Society will be able to help 42 students who are in need of help with back to school supplies and some clothing.
Christ Child Society thanks the following donors: Birch Creek, American Folklore Theatre, Peninsula Music Festival, Door Community Auditorium, A C Tap, Mistletoe Shop, Peninsula Players, the Mill Supper Club, Plum Loco, Schartner's Farm Market, Casey's BBQ, Carlsville Roadhouse, Door County Coffee, Door County Interiors, Welsing's Foodland, Schopf's Dairy View, Sturgeon Bay Florist, Marchant's Meats, Third Avenue Playhouse, Red Oak Winery, Second Gear, Sherry's Hallmark, Glidden Lodge, Pipka's, Gage, Spin Yarn Shop, Verlo, Miller Art Museum, Mike's Port Pub, Touch Of Class, Christine's, Hide Side, Higbees, Patricia's Creative Touch, Log Den, Watch Us Grow and private individual donors.
A special thank you to Christ Child Society members who worked hard to make the luncheon a success and also to all who were in attendance. We thank you all.