CONTACT: Kate Constalie, [email protected], 608-266-5490
MADISON – Despite Republican efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act, repeal patient protections and drive up costs, the landmark health care bill continues to provide much-needed relief to Wisconsin families. State officials announced this week that premiums for health care plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace are expected to drop roughly 5 percent in the upcoming year.
“The fact that the Affordable Care Act continues to provide affordable access to quality health insurance is great news for Wisconsin families,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “The cost of health care continues to be one of the top concerns for families and small businesses and I’m glad that the Affordable Care Act is helping to hold costs down while expanding access to coverage.”
Shilling noted that Wisconsin is still eligible for federal funding to expand BadgerCare coverage, lower costs and save state taxpayers millions of dollars. Gov. Walker’s ongoing refusal to accept the federal Medicaid expansion has cost Wisconsin taxpayers over $1 billion while preventing thousands of families from accessing affordable care. The plan has been derided nationally as cruel, immoral, nonsensical and fiscally irresponsible.
“While the Affordable Care Act is helping to hold down costs for consumers, Wisconsin needs to do its part to expand access and save taxpayer dollars,” added Shilling. “We should accept the federal Medicaid funding, expand access to BadgerCare and save Wisconsin taxpayers millions of dollars. It’s time for Gov. Walker to stop shifting more costs onto Wisconsin taxpayers and start putting the wellbeing of Wisconsin residents – and our state’s fiscal security – ahead of his personal political ambitions.”
A Democratic effort to accept the full federal Medicaid expansion in the 2017-19 budget was rejected by majority party Republicans. The move would have saved Wisconsin taxpayers $286.3 million over the next two years. To date, Gov. Walker’s rejection of federal funds has cost Wisconsin taxpayers $1.07 billion more than if the state had fully expanded BadgerCare, according to the Legislature’s non-partisan budget office.