Responding to the governor’s budget address, AARP Wisconsin voiced concern over a lack of specifics about his plans to provide health care coverage to low-income childless adults beyond 2013, and his lack of response to requests for expansion of Family Care into eight counties that are eager to take on the state’s long-term care program as soon as state start-up funding is available.
Governor Walker’s decision not to fully embrace the expansion of Medicaid services, which would have assured sustained health insurance coverage for approximately 176,000 low-income Wisconsinites who have no children living in their household, was especially disappointing. AARP has repeatedly called the governor’s coverage of childless adults “nothing but smoke and mirrors.”
Eight Wisconsin counties, including Brown, Kewaunee, Door, Oconto, Marinette, Shawano, Menominee and Rock, are all ready, willing and eager to launch Family Care – a Wisconsin program that gives seniors the opportunity to receive long-term care services at home rather than in costly institutions.
“Even though the governor did not specifically discuss Family Care, we are confident he and our state legislators will see the value of expanding one of the most popular and cost-effective long-term care programs in the country for seniors and people with disabilities,” said Helen Marks Dicks, state issues advocacy director for AARP Wisconsin.
“We expected to hear some details about this expansion in the governor’s budget address. But we’re hopeful this issue will not fall by the wayside as the governor, joint finance committee and state legislators work through the budget specifics.”