Walker Signs Lame Duck Legislation Without Vetoes

December 23, 2018

Despite the objection of over 30 different health care provider and payer organizations, Governor Scott Walker signed legislation in Green Bay December 14 that requires additional steps for the approval of Medicaid state plans, provider rate changes, and making supplemental payments, including review by the state Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. The additional review requirement does not apply to a change or supplemental payment with a fiscal impact of less than $7.5 million or for an action explicitly authorized in enacted legislation.

The Act also limits the ability for the state Department of Health Services (DHS) to pursue a waiver of federal law unless the Legislature specifically directs an action to request, change or end a waiver of federal law. In addition, the new law requires DHS take certain action when DHS is required through enacted legislation to seek federal approval for a waiver, pilot program or demonstration project.

The legislation, signed into law as 2017 Wisconsin Act 370, also codifies into state law additional Medicaid eligibility requirements, including premiums and work requirements. WHA had been lobbying lawmakers to develop alternative ramifications to disenrollment for failure to pay Medicaid premiums and create a mechanism whereby the state, not hospitals, collects cost-sharing from Medicaid enrollees. While these provisions were not addressed in Act 370, WHA will continue to work in the next legislative session to address these outstanding concerns.

Contact WHA Senior Vice President of Government Relations Kyle O’Brien or Director of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter for more information. 

This story originally appeared in the December 23, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter