The Fact Check on Scott Walker’s Plan to Cut 350,000 From BadgerCare — It’s Actually 400,000

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Scott Walker spent nearly a year trying to win the Republican gubernatorial primary by traveling around the state calling for time limits for BadgerCare so he could help finance his $3 billion in tax cuts, loopholes and shifts that benefit the rich and corporations.

According to the Department of Health Services, this would have cut 350,000 children and working families from the the low-income health care plan.

Now that Walker’s won the Republican primary, he’s got a new story. Here’s what Walker’s campaign put out yesterday:

“FACT: Scott does not want to eliminate 350,000 people from BadgerCare.”

It’s true, actually. Walker doesn’t want to eliminate 350,000 people from BadgerCare.

He actually wants to cut 400,000 from BadgerCare. Here’s the 9/22/10 story from WISC-TV:

Walker told WISC-TV in an interview last October that BadgerCare has turned into an “entitlement program” and time limits are needed to save money. He said he won’t cut people off immediately but would phase them out as they got jobs.

However, last month Walker reversed his positions and said he misspoke and doesn’t want time limits. Walker said now he’d like to “reform” BadgerCare, returning it to the “original intent to serve the truly needy” and perhaps change income requirements.

What does that mean for those in BadgerCare? It’s hard to say. Walker won’t commit to specific details.

About half of the more than 770,000 have been in the program longer than two years, which was a mentioned time limit, and the bulk of them are children. About 400,000 people on the program are either employed or are the spouse or child of someone who is employed.

Sounds like Walker should have gone with his first story. The 50,000 more children and working families he’s targeted for removal from BadgerCare probably do, too.

But then again, someone’s gotta pay for Walker’s $3 billion in tax cuts, loopholes and shift for the rich and big business.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.