38 states have expanded Medicaid. Wisconsin Republicans did not.
April is Medicaid Awareness Month. Across the country, 38 states and the District of Columbia had reason to be grateful, as each of them has expanded Medicaid since the Affordable Care Act was passed. But not Wisconsin.
Since the expansion was made available more than eight years ago, Republicans in Wisconsin have refused the deal that all of those other states — reds, blues and purples, too — have all taken.
This market ? Expand the program’s eligibility requirements, and the federal government will reimburse your Medicaid expenses at a higher rate.
As a result, the state of Wisconsin is paying more than necessary to provide health care to its most vulnerable citizens. In other words, Wisconsin’s insistence on paying more means that taxpayer money its residents send to the federal government is used to subsidize health care costs in those other states.
It’s a bad deal that defies common sense. In 2021-22 alone, this Wisconsin Republican intransigence will cost the state more than $1 billion. Last year, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called a special session of the Legislative Assembly to finally agree to the expansion, with a new twist.
Evers pinpointed exactly where the federal government’s billion dollars of new money would be spent. Wisconsin Republicans have always said no. Not just ‘no’ to health care expansion, but ‘no’;
- $200 million to develop high-speed Internet
- $100 million to replace lead pipes
- $100 million to repair roads and bridges
- Funding for more than a dozen needed Republican-backed building projects
At an event last week hosted by Protect Our Care, lawmakers Greta Neubauer (D – Racine) and Kristina Shelton (D – Green Bay) urged fellow Republicans to rethink their opposition on behalf of Wisconsinites forced to make choices unimaginable in order to afford health care.
One of these Wisconsin residents joined them for the conversation, which focused on the importance of access to care as well as the hundreds of millions of dollars Wisconsin Republicans have left on the table thanks to to their opposition.
During the event, this Wisconsinite, Peggy from Tomahawk, summed up the Republican opposition as well as anyone has in the last eight years.
“That’s just stupid.”
To learn more about Medicaid, visit www.medicaidawareness.com.