Today, the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH) announced their release of a discouraging report on the impact of the 2011-2013 state budget on women in Wisconsin. The analysis showed that the cuts to vital state health programs and other vital programs and services adversely affect the health, wellbeing and economic security of women in Wisconsin.
Detrimental findings in the report include:
- Gives authority to the Department of Health Services Secretary to reduce eligibility and coverage to our state BadgerCare program – with limited legislative oversight.
- Requires the Department of Health Services Secretary to make $467 million in cuts to state Medicaid programs – which will have undetermined consequences on health care access in the state.
- Imposes 10% funding cuts to almost all public health and health care programs in the state such as: mental health treatment services, community support programs, rural dental health clinics, HIV/AIDS services and other crucial health related programs.
- Cuts sexual assault victim services by 13.9%.
The findings in the WAWH report emphasizes the imperative need for policy-makers to shape budget decisions around values, and to prioritize the states most underrepresented and vulnerable populations. You can view the full report and impact on Wisconsin women and girls, here – based on the report’s findings, a large number of Wisconsin women and families who depend on critical state programs are expected to be greatly and negatively impacted.
This recipe of short-sided cuts that will ultimately lead to long-term costs for the state, mixed with the Governor’s decision to halt health reform implementation – tossed with another recent decision to refuse the use of federal funds for creating affordable health care marketplaces – is far from a garnish to the health, safety, well-being and economic security to women and girls in Wisconsin.
Now, more than ever, the need to raise the voices of women in Wisconsin is essential. WAWH is committed to advocating for the meaningful implementation of health care reform to ensure that, despite devastating cuts to vital health care programs, women and families have access to affordable and comprehensive coverage.