MADISON – Since 2014, Wisconsin Republicans have rejected Medicaid expansion despite the positive impacts it would have on our state. Expanding Medicaid would save taxpayers over $320 million in this budget alone and invest money into needed health care programs. Today, Governor Tony Evers joined Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Representative Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee) at a press conference announcing the introduction of legislation that would allow Wisconsin to expand Medicaid. Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) applauded this legislation and the Governor’s call for Republican support.
“For eight years, Republicans have refused to expand Medicaid for purely political reasons. But, it’s never too late to do the right thing and it’s important to keep reminding people across Wisconsin that we can still accept the Medicaid expansion,” Rep. Hintz stated. “The legislation introduced by my colleagues today is a continuation our Democratic efforts over the last five years. Medicaid expansion is the moral, fiscally responsible decision for our state. Despite this, Republican leadership continues to block this policy that would directly improve the lives of their constituents and is supported by 70% of Wisconsinites.”
Medicaid Expansion Would Save the Over $320 million in State Tax Dollars over the Next 2 Years:
- Under the ACA, if a state Medicaid program covers up to 138% of the federal poverty line, the federal government reimburses states at an enhanced rate (90% compared to 60%), saving state tax dollars.
- Each month that passes, Wisconsin wastes approximately $13 million in state tax savings.
Wisconsin residents will pay approximately $2.07 billion over the next two years in federal taxes to support Medicaid expansion in other states according to a memo from the Department of Revenue:
- Since Wisconsin has chosen not to expand Medicaid coverage, Wisconsin residents will see no return on investment from this federal tax.
“The irony of this entire debate is that Republicans in Wisconsin already partially expanded Medicaid, but did it in such an inefficient way that state taxpayers paid the entire bill. No other state took this approach because it was such a bad idea. Wisconsin taxpayers have spent an additional $1.1 billion since 2011 because of this disastrous decision by Republican lawmakers.”
“Wisconsin must do what the majority of states have done – expand Medicaid. It is a common sense solution that saves taxpayers money, supports the economy, lowers premiums, and improves health outcomes,” Rep. Hintz concluded.