Wis. requests $450M funding increase to support Medicaid

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is asking for $450 million more in funding in the next biennial budget to cover increasing spending on Medicaid, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.

In her 2017-2019 agency budget request, Secretary Linda Seemeyer described the funding increase as a "significant amount" and "by far, the largest component of the Department of Health Services Budget," though she noted, "this increase is small by historical standards," according to the report.

The previous three biennial budget requests sought sums ranging from $650 million to $1.6 billion to cover Medicaid, according to the report.

Jon Peacock, a state budget expert from the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, said the decrease is attributed to $260 million in savings the Department of Health Services was able to identify in the current budget, according to WPR.

"It's really great news, because that offsets disappointing state tax collections this year and it also holds down the Medicaid spending growth in the next two-year budget," said Mr. Peacock, according to the report. He also said Medicaid savings in the state come from an increased federal reimbursement rate, a decline in enrollment in BadgerCare — the state's Medicaid program — and lower costs for long-term care.

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