Rep. Dittrich: Weekly GOP radio address

“Hi, I’m Representative Barbara Dittrich of Oconomowoc.

As we work on the next state budget, we’re committed to policies that give our citizens more opportunities.

And that’s why – pushing more people toward government dependency, just doesn’t make sense.

Why would we expand Medicaid when unemployment is low and the need for motivated workers is high?

In Wisconsin, every person in poverty has access to coverage. Our state has NO health insurance gap. It IS estimated that nearly 40,000 Wisconsinites are either eligible for Medicaid or health insurance on the ACA exchange and are not currently enrolled. That’s healthcare that you are already paying for as a taxpayer. For those between 100-138% of the FPL, premiums on the exchange can be as low as 18¢ per month. On average, a plan on the exchange covers 94% of medical claims. The average out-of-pocket annual cost is about $350. A more fruitful question might be, “WHY aren’t we getting these individuals connected to the available resources that already exist?”

Governor Evers will take those able-bodied adults – who already get this federally subsidized assistance – and put them on Medicaid where the state has to kick in too. He puts more people on welfare and puts the state on the hook. This means that you are literally paying TWICE for this health insurance coverage for low income citizens in need of an individual health insurance policy.

Here in Wisconsin, we are among the top ten states with the highest rates of insured residents – and we’re doing it without opening the door to an unsustainable expansion of welfare benefits.

Instead, let’s focus on the drivers of health care. Our legislature is already hard at work on issues like limiting step therapy requirements and containing prescription drug costs. These are bipartisan measures that can truly make a difference.

Expanding further – is taking a step backwards – for the state, and for those working to be free of government dependency. It just doesn’t make sense.”

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