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UPDATE: Update on Medicaid Provisions in Budget Repair Bill


It appears that other language may have been changed.


Original Blog:

If I am understanding the repair bill correctly, the regular legislative process, including public input would be the process for changing policy.  If this is correct, thank you Governor Walker.

From Make It Work Milwaukee:

The Medicaid study provisions and rulemaking authority are included as they were in the original bill. The Republican Senators were able to craft and pass the bill by calling these provisions "non-fiscal policy" - which they previously claimed they were not.

(c) If the department determines, as a result of the study under par. (b), that revision of existing statutes or rules would be necessary to advance a purpose described in par. (b) 1. to 7., the department may promulgate rules that do any of the following related to Medical Assistance programs:

(Bill language then continues to describe Medicaid provisions which can be changed by rule - same as before.)
Comments from Jon Peacock of Wisconsin Council on Children and Families:
There’s one significant improvement re the Medicaid provisions – the new version doesn’t give DHS any new rulemaking authority.  They can still use rules to supersede nearly all of the portions of Medicaid law, and they could probably use the existing emergency rule authority, but they would have to follow up by using the regular rulemaking authority, which improves opportunity for public input and provides a little more opportunity for legislative oversight.   The new version strips the language about the rules being referred to the JFC.  Instead, they would go through the regular process of legislative review of rules.  That doesn’t improve the bill a whole heck of a lot, but it is an improvement.  The downside is that this change is a major step in reducing the risk that this sweeping delegation of  authority would be found unconstitutional.   
In every other way the amended portions related to MA policy seem to be the same as the JFC version.  Of course, to avoid the quorum problem, they had to take out the fiscal provisions that were supposedly the justification for having a budget repair bill. That means that the Medicaid hole in the current fiscal year hasn’t been solved and will have to be addressed once some of the Senate Dems return.

The bill is available at: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/insession/insessiondocs/docs/JR1AB11-CA1.pdf

Here is the updated bill:  http://thewheelerreport.com/releases/March11/0309/0309lfbamendment.pdf 

Now on to the budget itself

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