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Governor signs Medicaid bill despite broad health care opposition

Although more than 30 different health care organizations voiced opposition to Senate Bill 886, the lame duck bill affecting Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, Gov. Scott Walker signed into law the bill as a whole last Friday in Green Bay.

The Wisconsin Medical Society was part of a broad health care coalition opposing the legislation—2017 Wisconsin Act 370—and had reached out to the Governor’s office reiterating its concerns about potential unintended consequences the law could have on patients’ access to care. Under the new law, any desire for the executive branch to modify, suspend or terminate a Medicaid waiver would require legislative authorization.

“We believe this law is not in the best interests of patients and the physicians who care for them,” said Clyde “Bud” Chumbley, MD, MBA, Wisconsin Medical Society CEO. “Signing these provisions into law makes it much more difficult to correct course and make changes quickly if there’s a problem. It also potentially limits the state’s ability to adopt new ideas and innovations that could lead to better health outcomes for Wisconsin citizens with any degree of timeliness.”

Following the bill’s signing Friday, Society President Molli Rolli, MD, appeared on Wisconsin Public Television’s “Here and Now” program to discuss the Society’s concerns. Click here to view her interview with Zac Schultz, which begins at the 8-minute mark.

Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, or H.J. Waukau for more information.

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