Doctors criticize GOP proposals to add new barriers to medical assistance

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Wisconsinites receiving medical assistance benefits would face new requirements under two new bills.

Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature are unnecessarily endangering the state’s health, according to a diagnosis offered Tuesday by two Wisconsin doctors.

GOP Representatives in the Assembly are considering two bills that doctors say would impede the ability of Wisconsinans to access health care.

The bills would impose “arbitrary requirements” on health services, adding “additional and unnecessary bureaucracy,” said Dr. Ann Helms, a critical care neurologist in Milwaukee.

AB 934 prevent the Wisconsin Department of Health Services from automatically renewing a person’s eligibility for Medical Assistance benefits. Instead, the agency would have to review each person’s eligibility every six months, which would add another barrier to accessing medical care.

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“Generally, Republicans disdain bureaucracy, but in this case, they’re willing to hoard more of it,” said Dr. David Lang, an Osceola family physician.

AB 936 adds a work requirement to receive medical assistance benefits. If passed, the measure would require a person receiving medical assistance to accept any amount of legal work offered up to 40 hours a week. In effect, the measure removes the bargaining power of a person requiring assistance for medical expenses.

Both bills are in the Assembly and have been the subject of public hearings.

Lang has repeatedly used this latest health policy battle to raise Republicans’ continued refusal to expand Medicaid (known in Wisconsin as BadgerCare), despite such a move being fully funded by the government. federal.

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