WAUWATOSA – Today, legislation to expand the Medicaid program in Wisconsin was introduced by State Representative Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee) and Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) at a press conference in Wauwatosa. Governor Evers, Lt. Governor Barnes, and Secretary-Designee of the Department of Health Services Andrea Palm all spoke in support of this legislation, and healthcare advocates and other legislators stood with them. Rep. Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa), who stood with this group at the press conference today in her district, issued the following statement in support:
“Medicaid expansion is what the people want and it’s what they deserve. 70% of Wisconsinites support Medicaid expansion, Republicans and Democrats alike. We have heard this support time and time again — phone calls, emails, letters, listening sessions, public hearings, and throughout the budget debate — people want Medicaid expansion.
“Medicaid expansion is the moral and fiscally responsible decision, and every hour that goes by the Wisconsin taxpayers lose $115,000. Since Governor Evers signed the budget over a month ago, $97 million that belonged to the Wisconsin taxpayers was sent by the federal government to states like New Jersey and Illinois, as well as Washington DC. This is all because Republicans removed Medicaid expansion from the budget! And, without intervention, that number will balloon over the next two years to $2 billion (BILLION!!!) toward paying for Medicaid expansion in other states. It’s time to bring Wisconsin’s money home.
“Furthermore, it is estimated that the cost of private premiums purchased on the marketplace will go down by 19% with Medicaid expansion. To deny small business owners and residents across Wisconsin this reduction in costs is irresponsible and just plain picking politics over people.
“I know that my distinguished colleagues across the aisle care about their constituents, and I imagine that if brought to the floor, the majority of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will vote for this bill. I urge my constituents to contact Speaker Vos’s and Leader Fitzgerald’s offices and call for a vote on this bill. The will of the people is the law of the land. It’s beyond time to say yes to Medicaid expansion. Let’s get it done.”