WISCONSIN — As Democrats in Congress build a budget agreement that includes historic provisions to improve access to health care — including closing the Medicaid coverage gap — new fact-sheets from Planned Parenthood Federation of America are highlighting how these efforts would lower costs and expand access to health care in Wisconsin.
Closing the coverage gap is the single most important thing Congress can do to address the inequities laid bare by the pandemic. If Congress were to close the Medicaid coverage gap, 176,000 Wisconsinites would gain health coverage, and the state’s uninsured rate would decrease by 16%.
Medicaid expansion has been proven to increase access to care, improve financial security, and save lives. It has also played a vital role in reducing racial disparities in coverage. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan — which President Biden signed into law in March — includes an offer too good for Republican holdout states to turn down: In addition to covering 90 percent of the costs for the expansion population, the federal government would chip in an extra 5 percent for the traditional Medicaid population for two years. This translates to billions in additional dollars for states like Wisconsin — more than enough to cover the cost of expansion itself. Research confirms that Medicaid expansion increases access to care, improves financial security, and leads to better health outcomes.
Despite the overwhelming benefits of expanding Medicaid, and the robust incentives included in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, Republicans in Wisconsin still refuse to expand, underscoring the need for a federal solution to close the coverage gap.
Last month, Senator Tammy Baldwin joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin and health care advocates from across the state for a virtual round table to discuss key priorities awaiting Congressional action. Wisconsin residents from across the state discussed their personal experiences navigating their own care and urged swift action to lower costs and improve health care.
Wisconsinites have waited long enough. Republican lawmakers refuse to do the right thing, and it’s time for a federal solution to close the Medicaid coverage gap in Wisconsin and across the country. Congress must close the Medicaid coverage gap to ensure that Wisconsinites finally have access to the care they need.