[Madison, Wisc…] The Department of Health Services (DHS) has requested a $2.78 billion increase in funding for the 2015-17 biennium. The new dollars would grow the agency’s total budget to nearly $23 billion, or roughly one-third of the entire state budget.
Almost half of the new money, $1.25 billion, would come from the federal government, which already provides $10.5 billion to the agency for federally sponsored programs. Another $831.5 million would come from Wisconsin’s General Fund, made up of state tax dollars paid by the average Wisconsinite.
What is driving such an increase in costs for the agency? The answer lies mostly in its massive Medicaid program.
Of the $831.5 million in additional state dollars requested by DHS, $760 million would be added to Wisconsin’s Medicaid program and its outcrop, BadgerCare.
This is likely to become a major budgetary issue in the states. This summer, California had to appropriate more than $2 billion in increased tax revenues in its fiscal year 2014-15 budget toward offsetting rising Medicaid cost sharing.
Need a speaker or webinar presenter on the Affordable Care Act and the outlook for health care reform? Contact Pilot Healthcare Strategies Principal Fred Pilot by email