MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state Assembly might wait until next year to consider a second cutback of new rules that require survivors of elderly patients to repay more of their relatives' Medicaid costs.
The Senate passed the measure 32-1 Tuesday, with Janesville Democrat Tim Cullen casting the only no vote. The Assembly could take up the bill Thursday.
However, Majority Leader Bill Kramer said many of his fellow Republicans are raising concerns about it, so his leadership may hold the bill up until at least January.
The state budget passed by Republicans in June expanded the state's powers to dig into a Medicaid recipient's estate to recover tax-funded services -- but not until after the surviving spouse dies.
The Joint Finance Committee later scaled back the complicated rules, and the Senate okayed a second rollback. That's after concerns were raised that middle-class Wisconsinites would not be able to pass down assets to their children and grandchildren -- and elderly couples would consider divorcing in order to hang onto whatever assets they could.
Under the current law, the state would save $4.5 million by mid-2015. The new bill would forgo almost $1.5 million of those savings.