82,000 Wisconsinites would gain quality, affordable health care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today responded to reports that Wisconsin State Legislature Republicans are planning to vote next week to obstruct Governor Tony Evers’ plan to accept a federal investment in the state’s BadgerCare program. 

“For years, former Governor Walker and Wisconsin Republicans put politics ahead of progress and refused to accept a federal investment in our BadgerCare program. We should no longer make Wisconsin taxpayers foot the bill for other states to expand Medicaid. Wisconsin should provide our working people more choices for affordable health care,” said Senator Baldwin. “Governor Evers’ plan to accept a federal investment in our BadgerCare program will expand quality coverage for 82,000 Wisconsinites, save taxpayers money and help close health care coverage gaps. It is simply fiscally and morally irresponsible for state legislature Republicans to stand in the way of expanding access to quality, affordable health care coverage.”

Former Governor Walker’s plan kicked 63,000 Wisconsinites off their BadgerCare coverage, created a coverage gap and exposed Wisconsin taxpayers to higher costs while covering fewer people. In 2015, Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) outlined how the State of Wisconsin could have saved over $1 billion in taxpayer money over six years by accepting available federal dollars to expand Wisconsin’s BadgerCare program through the Affordable Care Act. According to LFB’s projections, over 80,000 additional Wisconsinites would gain coverage through full expansion of BadgerCare.

To date, 37 states have adopted the Medicaid expansion provided by the Affordable Care Act. Following Medicaid expansion, the uninsured rate in rural parts of expansion states decreased by a median of 44%. Numerous studies have shown that expanding Medicaid benefits states both directly and indirectly in the form of jobs and earnings growth, generating additional federal revenue, increasing Gross State Product, increasing state and local revenues, and reducing uncompensated care and hospital costs. 

An online version of this release is available here.

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