Contact: Courtney Beyer,

— New research published by the nonpartisan leading health policy journal Health Affairs has shed light on the many benefits of expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin. In addition to expanding coverage to 82,000 and saving the state $324 million, expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin would also substantially lower health care costs for individuals on the private marketplace.

“Because Robin Vos refuses to accept federal Medicaid dollars, every Wisconsinite who buys individual health insurance is paying a Vos Tax in the form of higher premiums,” said Ben Wikler, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair. “Every Republican lawmaker has to decide whether to follow the orders of Robin Vos and keep health insurance costs high, or stick up for their own constituents and bring costs down.”

This new evidence debunks claims by Wisconsin Republicans about the impact of expanding Medicaid. In neighboring Minnesota where Medicaid was expanded in 2013, premiums on the private marketplace are $57 per month cheaper than similar plans offered in Wisconsin. Republicans have falsely claimed that expanding Medicaid would increase premiums.

“Every Republican lawmaker who insists on hiding behind Robin Vos in order to keep health care costs high for Wisconsinites will have to answer to their own voters,” said Wikler. “$57 per month might not mean much to wealthy GOP lobbyists and special interests, but it adds up to a lot of grocery money for most Wisconsin families. It’s time to expand Medicaid and abolish the Vos Tax.”

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