Budget Bill Exacerbates Problems with Transfer of Responsibility for Medicaid Policy-Making
The Joint Finance Committee’s version of the budget bill delegates sweeping power to the Department of Health Services (DHS) to make changes relating to Medicaid and BadgerCare eligibility, services, cost-sharing, and enrollment procedures. Until January 2015, those policy choices, formerly the responsibility of state legislators and the Governor, would be handed over to an unelected official, the DHS Secretary.
These provisions, which have now been removed from the budget repair bill (Act 10) and folded into the biennial budget, raise constitutional concerns regarding the separation of powers between the legisaltive and executive branches. Like Act 10, the proposal strips from Wisconsin citizens our right to hold state legislators accountable for the policy changes that could affect hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites.
A new WCCF blog post provides a link to a June 5th Legislative Reference Bureau drafter’s note, which raises questions about the constitutionality of the power shift. In addition, the blog post explains how the JFC version exacerbates the problem of excluding the public because it allows the sweeping grant of authority to be exercised by the DHS Secretary without using rulemaking or holding so much as a single public hearing.
Read more in the new WCCF blog post: “From Bad to Worse: New JFC Version of Medicaid Power Shift Compounds the Problems.”