Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

BadgerCare Plus Basic’s enrollment numbers not a cause for joy


The first enrollment numbers are in for BadgerCare Plus Basic and they’re a statement on Wisconsin’s poor economy.

BadgerCare Plus Basic started coverage for individuals on July 1st. So far 1,681 people were enrolled for July, and 2,426 people were enrolled for August. The Associated Press reports 24,500 have applied for coverage and state officials expect 40,000 people to be eventually enrolled.

We shouldn’t be surprised at the high number of applicants. The original BadgerCare Core Plan was only supposed to have 24,900 individuals in 2009-10 and 39,500 individuals in 2010-11. As of January there were 63,644 people enrolled in the Core Plan.

The continued high unemployment numbers are surely contributing to the high enrollment numbers. The June jobs report indicated another 1,000 private sector jobs lost. This is in addition to the 7,900 private sector jobs lost in May. Unemployment in the Doyle economy continues to be high at 7.9%. (If you follow the Doyle Administration’s lead from may and use numbers that are not seasonally adjusted, unemployment actually went up .4% in June.)

While some would consider the high number of enrollees a “successful program,” the reality is that every additional person is a reminder of the failures of Governor Jim Doyle and the Democratic-controlled state legislature.

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