NEW INFORMATION: Budget panel advances Walker's Medicaid changes

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Legislature's Republican-controlled budget committee has approved Gov. Scott Walker's proposal that delays kicking 72,000 people off of the state's Medicaid program.

Walker would pay for continuing that coverage through March by delaying for an equal tie expanding Medicaid coverage for 83,000 childless adults earning below the poverty level.

Walker says those losing coverage need more time to sign up for private health insurance through the online exchange.

Democrats and health care advocates who testified earlier Monday urged Republicans to not delay coverage to the childless adults. Republicans rejected a Democratic proposal to accept federal money to pay for expanded Medicaid coverage.

The budget committee voted 11-2 to pass the bill, with all Republicans and one Democrat in support and two Democrats against.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) --Health care advocates are urging the Legislature's budget committee not to delay expanding Medicaid coverage to poor childless adults for three months.

The delay affecting about 83,000 people is part of Gov. Scott Walker's plan before the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee on Monday. Walker is proposing that delay to pay for another part of his proposal that would put off for three months kicking 72,000 current Medicaid recipients out of the program.

Those who testified Monday praised the delay in kicking people out of Medicaid, but said childless adults should get coverage starting in January as the budget originally called for.

The committee was to vote on the plan later Monday before the Assembly takes it up Wednesday. The Senate is expected to vote on it later this month.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Assembly is scheduled on Wednesday to take up Gov. Scott Walker's proposals delaying a health insurance enrollment deadline for nearly 100,000 people.

The Republican Legislature earlier this year approved Walker's tightening of Medicaid eligibility, a move kicking 77,000 people out of the BadgerCare program as of Jan. 1. The state's high-risk insurance pool also is slated to disappear at the beginning of the year, leaving another 20,000 people without coverage.

Walker says those people could find federally subsidized insurance through the new online exchange, or marketplace.

Walker decided to extend the enrollment data in the wake of problems with the federally run website making it difficult for people to sign up for coverage.

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