The State Senate and Assembly have passed SB 886/AB 1072 which will add significant bureaucratic requirements into the Department of Health Services’ routine work and could have a real impact on disability-related waivers like Family Care, IRIS, Children’s Long-Term Supports, Katie Beckett, Medicaid Assistance Purchase Plan, BadgerCare, autism services, mental health services and supports and more.
The bill prevents the Department of Health Services from applying for a change to the Medicaid program without getting first legislative approval. Changes to Medicaid waivers are routine, and the federal Center for Medicaid Services already requires states to renew and update their waivers at least every five years. Many waiver changes are designed to make the programs more cost-effective, reward providers that are implementing best practices and achieving desired outcomes, and ensure that people can access the services and supports that keep them healthy and in their homes rather than expensive institutions.
The bill makes it more difficult and time-consuming to make technical changes, adjust programs to make them more responsive to state needs, make improvements to programs, and make sure they follow federal requirements that are often tied to increased funding for states. The new bureaucratic process will divert already limited staff at DHS from attention to program improvement initiatives. The legislature already has broad ability to direct the actions of the Department of Health Services and exercise oversight over Medicaid waivers.
The bill awaits signature into law by the Governor. Call the Governor’s office today to ask him to veto this bill. The phone number is (608) 266-1212 and the Governor’s Twitter Account is @GovWalker
If you lead an organization, you also can sign on your organization’s support to request the Governor veto the bill athttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSezM8bqX_syuSWgTp0YIBewI_yiHb_Kjmk65ncAjKzZ3KTuog/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1