Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Press Release

Legislation Announced to Accept Federal BadgerCare Funds on Iowa Terms

The bill adopts the approach taken by Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad.

By - Feb 16th, 2015 02:00 pm

Madison: At a Capitol press conference this morning a new bill to accept federal BadgerCare money was unveiled. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Daniel Riemer and Senator Jon Erpenbach. Representatives Tom Hebl and Melissa Sargent also spoke at the event.

The bill adopts the approach taken by Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad, which has eligibility limits and a mix of public and private insurance virtually identical to the plan adopted by Wisconsin two years ago. The difference is the federal government pays for the cost to the state, and makes private health insurance more affordable to people just above the federal poverty line (see chart below for local data).

The plan would provide affordable health coverage to tens of thousands who lost BadgerCare and save the state hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Governor Walker’s treatment of BadgerCare in the state budget is a train wreck both for Wisconsinites who need access to health coverage and the state’s bottom line. We are paying hundreds of millions of dollars more to cover fewer people, leaving tens of thousands of our neighbors and friends needlessly without vital health coverage,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Wisconsin policymakers need to understand before it is too late that Republican Governors across the region have successfully negotiated innovative and pragmatic agreements to take enhanced federal dollars for BadgerCare in ways that satisfy their policy preferences.”

Table: Savings to 40 year old applicant just over federal poverty line, Wisconsin consumers by metro with Iowa model

Per Person Savings On Private Insurance with Iowa Model1



$290 – $1,000 saved per person



$240 – $940


La Crosse

$740 – $940


Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls

$490 – $740


Central Wisconsin3



Green Bay

$302 – $1,012



$240 – $1,440


Twin Cities area, WI side4

$290 – $1,240


Dubuque area, WI side5







$490 – $740



$290 – $1,000



$240 – $940


Fond du Lac




$290 – $1,000





1 – Range between premium/deductible and out of pocket maximum, 2nd lowest cost silver plan, 40 year old, $12,000, source

2 – Wisconsin County level Medicaid eligible, source

3 – Includes Marathon, Wood & Portage counties

4 – Includes St Croix, Pierce & Polk Counties

5 – Grant County, Wisconsin

Mentioned in This Press Release

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