A letter released Tuesday to lawmakers from Dennis Smith, secretary of the state Department of Health Services, said the two-year shortfall is now expected to be $232 million. Enrollment is rising slower than expected, and costs per patient are lower, he said.So why won't Eagle Scout Walker do the right thing and restore some of the needless cuts? There is a number of possible different answers:
But "it is important that the department continue to pursue the various savings measures that we included in our September report," when the gap was estimated at $554 million, Smith wrote.
The cuts include higher premiums, changes in eligibility and required shifts to employer insurance for some with state coverage. The changes would cause nearly 65,000 people, nearly half of them children, to leave or be turned away from Medicaid, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said.
One is that there really never was a deficit and that the planned all along to raid the fund to pay for holes elsewhere in his budget. He's done that before.
Or he could have "found" the savings to make himself look better to his base in the upcoming recall election. He's done that before.
Another possibility is that he needed to come up with some quick cash to dole out to campaign donors to help fund his flailing recall campaign. He's done that before as well.
But no matter the reason, the one thing that is clear is that walker has again abdicated his role as a responsible leader, as a former Eagle Scout, and as a human being.