Governor Walker called on the legislators with a request to extend the deadline of BadgerCare coverage which covers thousands of low income people of Wisconsin, since they have had to face a lot of difficulties enrolling for the federal health insurance.
Due to computer glitches and overall confusion only 877 people could choose a plan on the federal government's website in the first month and 200 people actually could buy insurance in Wisconsin on their own and chose their plan on the Marketplace.
In comparison, Minnesota has its own Health Marketplace - Mnsure and the double the number of people enrolled as they were found to be eligible and able to choose their health plan. Here, they had an extensive marketing campaign to enroll people. In Wisconsin the marketing campaign was not implemented by state leaders.
The premium costs in Wisconsin are considerably higher than in Minnesota as there were not enough enrollments - especially the younger generation.
The decision to extend the deadline so that people do not lose public insurance will be a step in the right direction, though lawmakers should make sure that they assure people about not losing BadgerCare before they have other options.
March 31st 2014 is a deadline for people who buy independent insurance to get signed up for the year 2014.
About half a million people have no insurance in Wisconsin - the focus should be getting people affordable covers. There are 85,000 people without minor children and below the poverty level.
Low income families should not be dropped from insurance plans before they can sign up in the new health marketplace.
Health is vital to life. The focus should be on health security for the people of Wisconsin. For example, the governors in Washington, Kentucky and Connecticut recently wrote in a Washington Post op-ed:
"People keep asking us why our states have been successful. Here's a hint: It's not about our website...
"The Affordable Care Act has been successful in our states because our political and community leaders grasped the importance of expanding health-care coverage and have avoided the temptation to use health-care reform as a political football."
The three governors asked politicians to "quit rooting for failure" and instead "put their constituents first. Health reform is working for the people of Washington, Kentucky and Connecticut because elected leaders on both sides of the aisle came together to do what is right for their residents."
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Sen.Kathleen Vinehout, November 2013