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Wisconsin Will Fork Out More For Obamacare

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Devices used to take blood pressure, temperature, and examine eyes and ears rest on a wall inside of a doctor's office in New York March 22, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Devices used to take blood pressure, temperature, and examine eyes and ears rest on a wall inside of a doctor's office in New York March 22, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

MADISON, Wis. (WHBL) - The state’s health secretary says he’ll tell Congress tomorrow that Wisconsin will be forced to spend more money under the Obama health reform law – but he’s not sure how much yet. Dennis Smith says the federal package will not provide enough extra reimbursements to everyone who signs up for Badger-Care-Plus and other Medicaid programs for the poor and elderly. Smith told reporters today, “The math is just not going to work out.”  But he says the state’s health agency has not finished its financial projections of the law’s effect on the state budget.  States will be allowed to seek expansions of Medicaid under the Obama health law – but Smith says reforms are needed before Wisconsin or any other state can expand their programs.  Smith plans to express his concerns to a U-S House subcommittee tomorrow. Wisconsin’s final decision on an expansion is expected to be announced when the governor’s next state budget package is unveiled in February.  Smith says Wisconsin has about 113-thousand children and parents who qualify for Medicaid but are not signed up – and they’ll have to sign up under the federal health law.  The state will pay 41-percent of those costs, and Washington will pick up the rest.  On the other hand, childless adults will get their Badger-Care fully funded by the federal government. The state and the feds now share those costs. 

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