LA CROSSE, Wis. – Doctors, union workers and political activists are joining forces to call on the Wisconsin legislature to give almost 91,000 Wisconsinites access to healthcare by expanding BadgerCare.
Gov. Tony Evers new budget proposal calls for the state to accept federal funding to expand BadgerCare, which already provides healthcare to nearly 994,000 low-income people in Wisconsin. The Republican-led legislature rejected the proposed BadgerCare expansion during the last budget session. That left Wisconsin as one of only 12 states in the nation that have not expanded Medicaid, also known as BadgerCare, through the Affordable Care Act.
“Wisconsin is leaving a huge source of federal funding on the table that could be used to help our friends and neighbors who need good healthcare right now,” said Katie Nauth of Coulee DSA. “Denying the expansion of Medicaid, which has occurred across both Democrat and Republican led states, makes no sense for Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin would gain $1.3 billion for healthcare if it accepted the Medicaid expansion, which represents a significant increase in funding over previous years to try and lure holdout states. The additional funding is part of the American Rescue Plan. The money would give access to Medicaid to an additional 90,900 people in Wisconsin.
The new coalition calling on lawmakers to expand Medicaid includes the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, Physicians for a National Health Program, Coulee DSA, Our Wisconsin Revolution, and DSA chapters in Appleton and Milwaukee.
“It is shameful that Wisconsin lawmakers are continuing to deny healthcare to hardworking Wisconsinites and we intend to fight to change that,” Nauth said. “We see this as a first step in the battle to guarantee healthcare for everyone through a single-payer system.”
The coalition plans to canvas across Wisconsin in both Republican and Democratic districts to push for lawmakers to expand BadgerCare and to use other tactics to pressure lawmakers. To join the campaign, visit http://coulee.dsawi.org/