Thursday, September 17, 2009

Want to See HealthCare Rationing? See Wisconsin!

Jim Doyle's precursor of ObamaCare.

The state's BadgerCare Plus Core program was launched in mid-July to provide medical care, including mental health services, to the indigent. The county phased out its program in anticipation of the state move.

The transition has been bumpy. The state delayed the start of the program several months because of budget concerns. Now, some of the transferees from the county to the state program have found they can no longer see the same physicians they had previously seen.

They also face long waits to see HMO psychiatrists through BadgerCare Plus Core, according to county officials. The situation was blamed on a dearth of behavioral health providers willing to serve BadgerCare patients.

That will result in people skipping treatment, eventually "experiencing a psychiatric crisis and ultimately requiring hospitalization," according to a memo from John Chianelli, the county's behavioral health administrator.

One County supervisor blames providers who don't like alcoholics who smell funny and therefore don't take them as patients.

Another possiblity:

The BadgerCare Plus Core program provides less mental health coverage than the county program did.

...County Executive Scott Walker said the problem was triggered by the state decision to pay for less mental health care than had been anticipated.

None dare call it "rationing."

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