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Why Not

I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.

Budget Repair Bill Questions on Medicaid Provisions

Here is an email that I sent to Governor Walker:

Governor Walker

Having listened to the debate for the last couple of weeks, having had disagreements at home over the Repair Bill as a whole I thought it was time to ask you some question directly.

I can agree with you that something needs to be done about our financial situation, both at the State level as well as the Federal level. I agree that something needs to be done in regards to our Medicaid program to ensure its continued support of families throughout the State of Wisconsin.  I am not an expert when it come to managing such large sums of public funds.

A successful relationship has compromise. I am curious as to why there is no compromise when it comes to the Budget Repair Bill?  As you have said, you were elected to represent the entire state.  I believe that 52% of the state voted for you.  What about the other 48% that did not? Since you are offering no compromise on this bill, how is the entire State being represented?  You have said that you are willing to allow for debate on the bill, but you will make no changes to it. What is the point of debating an issue that you have no chance of winning?  Is there really only one way to fix this problem?

My main argument for not favoring the Repair Bill is the result of your provisions for changes to Medicaid. The bill, as written, takes all authority away from the entire legislature and puts it in the hands of unelected officials and the Joint Committee on Finance.  More importantly, the bill takes away public input when it comes to potential policy changes. I am sure that Secretary Smith at DHS has
some good ideas on how to fix our Medicaid shortfalls, but I am sure that the public has some as well.

As you are aware, 1.1 million people in the State receive some sort Medicaid assistance.  That is 20% of our population.   For a program that represents such a large portion of our states population, why are
they being excluded from providing valuable input?  Since these are policies that would affect how public funds would be spent, why is there no opportunity for public input on how our public funds are being spent? This is a significant amount public funds that we are talking about, but the program affects a significant number of people in the state and they should be heard.

None of my current Legislators currently serve on Joint Finance, so I can not be sure that I am adequately represented when it comes to potential policy changes. If the entire body of State Legislators were involved in the process, I can ensure that my elected officials are aware of my views on the subject.  The bill takes this away.

I am curious as to why this provision is included in the first place. These Medicaid provisions are Policy changes that have no immediate fiscal impact.  Shouldn't Policy changes be debated in committee and
then the entire Legislature be given the opportunity to ask their questions?

I look forward to hearing from you

Kevin Fech
Cudahy, WI

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