WHA, 32 WI Health Care Groups Join to Oppose Lame Duck Legislation

Far reaching legislation could have unintended consequences for hospitals, Medicaid providers

December 04, 2018

The Wisconsin Hospital Association joined 32 other Wisconsin health care organizations in a letter to state lawmakers expressing significant concerns with legislation fast tracked for Wisconsin’s lame-duck session. 

The Legislature has expressed an interest in codifying the work requirement provisions for able-bodied childless adults between 50% to 100% of the federal poverty limit included in a recent 1115 Medicaid waiver that had already been approved by CMS in negotiations with the Walker administration. WHA has been actively weighing in with CMS and the Walker administration on the waiver for the last two years.

Unfortunately, the provisions in Assembly bills AB 1072 and AB 1073 include “a number of changes to the administration of the Medicaid program that go well beyond the what is in the 1115 waiver.”  The letter to lawmakers encouraged them to focus more narrowly on implementing the waiver, as the depth and breadth of the complex provisions included in these two bills could have unintended consequences that would impact health care delivery in communities across Wisconsin.  

With the lame-duck legislation introduced late Friday, November 30, and the public hearing and committee vote held on Monday, December 3, little time was given for public review or input. The group letter expressed concerns that stakeholders were not included in developing the nearly 200 pages of legislation, which is too complex to move along such an expedited timetable.  

Among the concerning provisions were:

  • New statutory language to require disenrolling Medicaid enrollees if they fail to pay monthly premiums  
  • Delaying routine provider rate reimbursement changes and Medicaid administration state plan amendments by requiring legislative approval
The full Legislature will vote on AB 1072 and AB 1073 on Tuesday, December 4 (as of this newsletter, no vote has yet occurred).  WHA will continue to closely monitor this legislation and keep our members informed of any changes.  

If you have questions, contact WHA Director of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter.

This story originally appeared in the December 04, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter