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Report: BadgerCare delay will save $23-M

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Governor Scott Walker's proposal to delay the restructuring of Badger-Care by three months would save taxpayers $23-million. That's according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which analyzed the changes Walker wants lawmakers to make in a special session next week. The official bill was released yesterday. It allows 72,000 adults above the poverty line to stay on Badger-Care through the end of March instead of the end of December so they can have a chance to sign up for Obama-care once that system's computer glitches get fixed.

The Fiscal Bureau says the extra three months of Badger-Care for those people would cost $17-million. The bill also delays the addition of 83,000 adults in Badger-Care who are below the poverty line -- and fiscal experts say that would save $40-million, for a net saving of 23-million.

Senate Democrat Tim Cullen of Janesville said Walker should seek the extra federal Medicaid funds under Obama-care to pay for the delays. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said it doesn't make sense to have a separate program for only three months.

The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to consider the Walker plan on Monday, with an Assembly vote next Wednesday. The Senate is expected to take up the measure later in December.