MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker wants to give people set to lose their Badgercare benefits in January three more months because of the federal government's troubled website to sign up for the healthcare exchange marketplace.
"I think just about everyone out there acknowledges that the rollout of Obamacare has not been as effective as originally proposed and that because of that, we want to make sure nobody falls through the cracks," Walker said during a news conference at the Capitol Thursday.
In it's first month, less than 900 people in Wisconsin have been able to fully enroll. President Obama again admitted the rollout has been rough Thursday and also announced an extension.
"Insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014 and Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan," Obama said.
Walker says these problems are exactly why he turned down federal money to expand Medicaid benefits in Wisconsin. That decision, and the one to cap Badgercare benefits at the poverty level, is the reason those 77,000 people are losing Badgercare and will now get health insurance in the federal marketplace. Walker also chose to not set up state-run exchanges.
"I'm glad the governor is going to extend it until March but it would be far better for Wisconsin citizens if Wisconsin had its own program up and running to cover more people and save taxpayers millions of dollars," Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) said following Walker's announcement.
The governor is expecting bipartisan support to extend the deadline to March 31 in a special session he expects to happen after Thanksgiving. Democrats say they look forward to discussing other healthcare options for people in Wisconsin.