Today, physicians from across Wisconsin, led by the Doctors for America State Director Dr. Ian Gilson, delivered a petition signed by over 70 physicians to Secretary of Health Dennis Smith, members of Governor Scott Walker’s health policy team and legislators in Madison to show strong opposition to cuts to Badger Care (Medicaid).
Along with Dr. Gilson, Dr. Aaron Dunn, a rural family physician, and Dr. Renee Settle-Robinson, a podiatrist and leader in the Milwaukee African-American medical community, delivered a petition signed by over 70 Wisconsin doctors – including numerous professors from the state’s two medical schools, practicing primary care and sub-specialty physicians, clinic medical directors, medical student leaders, and rural and urban physicians from all across the Badger State.
The petition asks Governor Walker and members of the Wisconsin Legislature to:
- Stop the political posturing and collaborate with health care professionals and with each other to implement solutions that work.
- Hold full hearings on health care legislative proposals and alternatives so that Wisconsin can develop a better vision for our health care future.
- Avoid policies that will be destructive to health care access, cost control, and quality for the citizens of Wisconsin such as those proposed to Badger Care in the Governor’s budget.
“I’ve seen the benefits that high quality, high value care has provided my patients who are Badger Care members. Other states’ experiences have proven that cuts like those proposed will end up costing Wisconsin much more through Emergency Room visits, cost shifting - and sometimes death, said Dr. Ian Gilson, Wisconsin State Director of Doctors for America.”
To help refocus policymakers on solutions that will work, the physician advocates are offering innovative alternatives to improve the health of the people of Wisconsin and control health care costs - so the state budget is balanced and the economy robust.
They presented solutions that have shown to be effective in other states such as:
- Initiating payment and administrative reforms in Medicaid and the private insurance market to incentivize high-value primary care and prevention – for example through Patient-Centered Medical Homes.
- Breaking down barriers between mental and physical health care to improve care coordination and access, which will result in cost savings.
- Establishing a public Medicaid Redesign Commission process (with a short timeline) - like New York and Oregon have done – with stakeholder representation that includes patients. This process can provide opportunities to move beyond short-term budget discussions and implement visionary reforms that could position Wisconsin as a national leader.
Solutions to Wisconsin’s problems lie in collaboration, not confrontation. Wisconsin’s doctors are ready and willing to help policy makers develop effective health policy strategies that protect and expand health coverage, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, improve health, and foster innovation to control health care costs.