In 2010, Wisconsin elected Republican Scott Walker as Governor. Scott Walker quickly proved that rather than helping the people of Wisconsin, he was more interested in picking partisan fights like attacking unions and thumbing his nose at Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, an act which included state Medicaid expansion that would be paid almost in full by the federal government:
Gov. Scott Walker announced Wednesday that he won’t propose expanding Medicaid services in Wisconsin, breaking with other Republican governors who decided to accept federal money for an expansion as offered under the health care overhaul law.
Scott Walker’s refusal to expand Medicaid cost Wisconsin over $1 Billion in federal money that could have gone towards helping Wisconsin residents enroll in health care coverage:
Had Wisconsin done the full expansion of Medicaid, people earning an income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level would have been eligible for Medicaid. (In 2018, the poverty level is $12,140 for individuals and $25,100 for a family of four.)
With that full expansion, Wisconsin would have gained enough additional federal funding that it would be spending an estimated $1.07 billion less in state money on Medicaid, over roughly a five-year period.
Because the Federal Government is picking up at least 90% of the cost, the residents of states who have chosen not to expand Medicaid, like Wisconsin, have essentially been subsidizing the states who have expanded Medicaid, as none of the portion of taxes they pay for Medicaid expansion is coming back to their state.
In addition, states that have expanded Medicaid are also seeing better access to care, utilization of services, affordability of care, and financial security. Most importantly, the failure of some states to expand Medicaid has resulted in millions of people remaining uninsured because they do not qualify for Medicaid or for Affordable Care Act marketplace subsidies, falling in what has become known as the coverage gap.
Having had enough of Scott Walker’s partisan governing, a style which was doing very little for the state, the people of Wisconsin decided to switch gears in 2018’s election for Governor, and elected Democrat Tony Evers, a career educator, to replace right-wing ideologue Scott Walker.
Tony Evers has announced that he will be touring the state of Wisconsin to help convince the legislature, which has a Republican majority thanks to ridiculous gerrymandering, to back his efforts to expand Medicaid and actually do something good for the people of Wisconsin:
Gov.-elect Tony Evers plans to make expanding health insurance under Obamacare a top priority and will tour the state to make his case for it after he introduces his budget next year.
In comments Wednesday at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers in Milwaukee, the incoming Democratic governor made plain he will use his bully pulpit to try to get the provision through a Legislature controlled by Republicans opposed to the measure.
“We just can’t afford to have a society where some people get health care and some people don’t,” Evers said.
Besides helping to provide health care coverage to thousands of Wisconsin residents who remain uninsured, Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin would free up millions within the budget to be used on other projects, thanks to the influx of federal money:
The plan would provide coverage to more people and free up about $280 million in state money over two years that could be used for other purposes, according to preliminary estimates.
This is why you vote for politicians who prioritize helping constituents, not right-wing ideologues who would rather see their own constituents suffer than take part in a bipartisan solution. This is why you vote for Democrats.