Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Press Release

New Wisconsin Poll Shows Public Wants Major Changes to Budget on Health Care

The polling shows massive public support for Wisconsin to take the enhanced federal funding for BadgerCare rejected in the Governor’s budget.

By - Mar 17th, 2015 12:03 pm

Statewide: On a media call this morning Citizen Action of Wisconsin joined Public Policy Polling and members of the Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee to release new poll results on key health care issues. Audio of the call can be accessed here.

The polling shows massive public support for Wisconsin to take the enhanced federal funding for BadgerCare rejected in the Governor’s budget. It also shows overwhelming support for Governor Walker and the Legislature to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could yank health insurance subsidies from over 183,000 Wisconsinites. Both are closely related budget issues. The polling results can be accessed here.

On taking the BadgerCare dollars currently being left on the table by Governor Walker, the public supports taking the money by an overwhelming 31 point margin (58% to 27%).

On the question of taking precautions against a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could endanger health insurance subsidies for over 183,00 Wisconsinites, the public by a 20 point margin (53% to 33%) thinks it is the Governor’s responsibility to take action to prevent anyone from losing their health care. This is a budget issue, because Governor Walker pushed 57,000 people off BadgerCare, and denied access to 81,000 people who would have been eligible, placing them on the federal marketplaces where they are vulnerable to an adverse U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The media call was joined by three members of the Joint Finance Committee, Senator Jon Erpenbach, Representative Gordon Hintz, and Representative Chris Taylor.

“This is not the time to point fingers, we need leaders to step up,” said Representative Hintz.

On BadgerCare, Representative Chris Taylor said: “It’s a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t we take this money to cover more people for less money.”

“For the life of me, I can’t understand why we have not done this,” added Senator Erpenbach. “It is up to Governor Walker to fix the problem, It’s the right thing to do.”

“It is clear that the Wisconsin public by huge margins supports major revisions to the state budget on health care issues,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “The public wants Wisconsin to take all the money that is on the table to strengthen BadgerCare, and believes it is Governor Walker’s responsibility to take action to safeguard the health coverage of the over 183,000 Wisconsinites at risk from a potentially dangerous U.S. Supreme Court decision.”

About the poll: Public Policy Polling surveyed 1,071 registered Wisconsin voters from March 6th to 8th. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.0%. 80% of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone with 20% interviewed over the internet to reach respondents who don’t have landline telephones. Full poll results can be accessed HERE

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7 thoughts on “New Wisconsin Poll Shows Public Wants Major Changes to Budget on Health Care”

  1. Rich says:

    Why, with the power and reach of the internet, don’t we have public opinion surveys with a reach of 100,000 or 500,000 people? This particular poll seems relatively well balanced by area, gender, political slant, but, let’s face it, 1071 people is a small fraction of the population. Walker / Republicans didn’t listen to 100s of thousands of people on the Capitol steps, how is this going to make a difference?

  2. AG says:

    Wow, that poll has some of the worst leading questions I’ve seen on a poll in a long time.

    Regardless of this awful poll, why is it up to WI to spend money to cover for the mistakes of Congress with Obamacare? Force the feds to fix the problem. Because of Walkers Badgercare plan, thousands of people that were never eligible for the program now have coverage. Meanwhile, those “kicked off” the program are now covered by Obamacare. That’s awesome news, because Obamacare is such a great program.

  3. PMD says:

    16.4 million Americans have gained health insurance coverage. Largest drop in the uninsured rate in 40 years. Oh the horrors of Obamacare.

  4. Kyle says:

    Insuring more Americans is an admirable goal, but I question how big an impact the exchange has had upon that number.

    From http://obamacarefacts.com/sign-ups/obamacare-enrollment-numbers/ :

    “It’s estimated that 5.7 million young adults (aged 19-25) stayed on a parent’s plan until age 26. That is 2.3 million who stayed on their parents plan from 2010 to 2013 with an estimated 3.4 million gaining coverage from 2013 to 2015.”

    “10.8 million more enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP since Oct 2013. Not all who enrolled were ineligible before the ACA.”

    That’s 16.5 million right there, without ever touching an exchange.

  5. PMD says:

    So Obamacare has nothing to do with the fact that the number of uninsured Americans has dropped significantly? You’re better with numbers than I am Kyle so I’ll defer to you on this.

  6. Kyle says:

    Obamacare is all of this, but when people see 16.4 million they seem to assume the exchanges only. The Medicaid expansion is a substanial portion of this, despite not being implemented in every state. The numbers are difficult to pin down, at best. 10.8 million new Medicaid enrollment is pretty solid, but some of those were probably previously covered by some form of insurance (i.e. – how Wisconsin moved some onto Medicaid but kicked others off). The “kids” number at 5.7 million I included that only 3.4 million were new, while 2.3 million stayed on longer than they would have been able to otherwise, so those aren’t technically “new” coverages. For what it’s worth, that same site says 11.4 million enrolled in the exchanges for this year (total, not new). So of the 27.9 million people using Obamacare for insurance, only 16.4 are claimed as newly insured. (For the sake of non-argument, I’m assuming all the numbers are related to Obamacare components, as opposed to rising employment)

    All of that is a long way of saying that there aren’t reliable numbers to say exactly where each newly insured person is getting their resources. The disclaimer from that same source says it pretty well: “NOTE: We have pretty specific data on Marketplace enrollments, Medicaid, and CHIP from HHS and CMS. However, most other data is based on surveys and extrapolations of other data. Thus it’s hard for any source to have a true exact count of current enrolled under ACA provisions vs. who would be enrolled without the ACA.”

  7. AG says:

    Kyle, keep in mind that those numbers are offset by people who lost coverage because their plans no longer met the criteria set forth by Obamacare, people who’s employers stopped provided coverage b/c it got too expensive and had to switch to the exchanges, and a few other categories. Those all would count as enrollee’s of Obamacare yet not be previously uninsured.

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