Positive Medicaid Budget Projected by End of Current Biennium

On March 29, the Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted an updated projection for the state’s Medicaid budget to the Joint Finance Committee.  DHS estimates the Medicaid budget will end the current 2017-19 biennium with a surplus of $233.9 million GPR. The biennium ends on June 30, 2019. This is an increase of $21.1 million […]

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Wisconsin Withdraws From ACA Lawsuit

Attorney General Josh Kaul has withdrawn Wisconsin from a multistate lawsuit seeking to declare the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. Wisconsin and Texas had originally led the litigation under former Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel. The lawsuit argues that the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, and, because the individual mandate is “essential” to the ACA, […]

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Health Care Issues Moving in the Legislature

Although the legislature is not planning to meet in March and may not meet in April, too, for floor action, several notable health care related bills are making their way through committees. Below is an overview of major health care issues this session and their current status in the legislative process.   Dental Therapists – […]

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Evers Releases $43 Million Dental Plan

Gov. Evers released a dental access initiative this week that would include $43 million in funding in 2019-21 for various dental programs. The initiative would: Increase the rate for loan repayments to the dentists who serve in rural areas from $50,000 to $100,000. Allocate $39 million for increased reimbursement rates to dental providers if they […]

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Minimum Markup Repeal Legislation Circulating

Wisconsin’s “Unfair Sales Act” (Wis. Stat. §100.30) prohibits the sale of merchandise at less than cost and requires a specified minimum markup above the wholesale cost for alcohol, tobacco, and motor vehicle fuel. Several legislators are currently circulating bills that would amend or repeal the Unfair Sales Act to lower costs for consumers on prescription […]

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Floor Report: Assembly Passes Pre-existing Conditions Legislation

In their first floor session of the year on Jan. 22, the Assembly passed a bill placing a state-level prohibition on pre-existing conditions exclusions, if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed or is otherwise unenforceable. The bill, amended by Assembly Substitute Amendment 1, would exempt short-term, grandfathered, and transitional plans from these prohibitions. At […]

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Evers Issues Medicaid Expansion, Pre-existing Conditions EOs

In some of the first executive actions of his term, Gov. Evers this week signed two executive orders directing state agencies to implement plans for expanding Medicaid and prohibiting pre-existing conditions exclusions in health insurance. Executive Order 3 directs the Department of Health Services (DHS) to develop a plan for expanding Medicaid eligibility. EO 3 […]

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DHS Medicaid Projections Improve

On Dec. 28, the Department of Health Services (DHS) sent the Joint Finance Committee an update on the state’s Medicaid budget that projects Medicaid benefits costs will be below budgeted levels by $212.7 million GPR by the end of 2017-19. In September, DHS had projected a $149 million difference between budgeted and projected expenditure levels […]

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Opioid Task Force Releases Final Report

Gov. Scott Walker’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse has released its final report. The report details the Commission on Substance Abuse Treatment Delivery’s analysis of how the hub-and-spoke model of treatment delivery might work in Wisconsin. The report analyzed the hub-and-spoke model in other states (California, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) and laid out the […]

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Federal District Court Strikes Down ACA Mandate

A federal district court in Texas has ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional. The court further found that, because the individual mandate is “essential” to the ACA, the remaining provisions of the law are also invalid. Congress zeroed out the tax penalty appropriation, yet left in place the ACA’s individual […]

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