Wisconsin Leaders Must Follow Missouri’s Lead and Expand Medicaid for 176,000 Wisconsinites
MILWAUKEE, WI – Yesterday, Missouri voters passed a ballot measure to expand Medicaid in the state, making health care access a reality for more than 230,000 additional Missourians, including many who find themselves without health care coverage during a pandemic. Despite Missouri being a deep red state, voters chose to expand Medicaid and reject President Trump’s repeated attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act and sabotage health care access. Wisconsin Republican leaders refuse to expand Medicaid to 176,000 Wisconinites—putting lives at risk during a global pandemic. They must follow Missouri’s lead, expand Medicaid, and protect Wisconsinites now.
In response to Missouri’s vote, Protect Our Care Executive Wisconsin State Director Joe Zepecki issued the following statement:
“Missouri voters made their voices heard loud and clear by passing Medicaid expansion for their state. Wisconsin Republicans must follow Missouri’s lead to expand Medicaid access for Wisconinites. Even in deep red Missouri, voters are fed up with Donald Trump’s war on health care, his attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act in court and complete mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis. Missourians know that Medicaid serves as a lifeline for the most vulnerable Americans, especially as our country battles the worsening pandemic, which is why they chose to affirm Medicaid expansion — a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that has already provided health care to 16 million Americans nationwide.”
Missouri Has Already Experienced An 8.8 Percent Increase In Medicaid Enrollment Since February. “Even without expanding the program, Missouri leads the group with an 8.8% increase since February in total Medicaid enrollment. While economic recessions often contribute to increasing Medicaid enrollment, the early spike in Missouri could signify reenrollment of a large number of people, mostly children, who had been dropped from the program two years in a row. A federal rule blocks disenrollment during the pandemic.” [Kaiser Health News, 7/30/20]
700,000 Missourians Have Filed Unemployment Claims Since Mid-March. “Voters in Missouri will decide Tuesday whether to expand eligibility for MO HealthNet program (Missouri’s Medicaid program) to provide insurance to more than 230,000 additional people in the state, including many who find themselves newly struggling for health coverage amid a national health crisis. More than 700,000 initial unemployment claims were reported in Missouri from mid-March through the first week of July. If Medicaid expansion passes in Missouri, coverage for those newly eligible people would begin in 2021. Advocates for the measure say Medicaid expansion would also create jobs, protect hospitals from budget cuts and bring billions of federal taxpayer dollars back to the state.” [Kaiser Health News, 7/30/20]