MADISON, Wis. — With 2022 just around the corner, Wisconsin Republicans are doubling down on their assault against affordable health care. The Wall Street Journal reported Republicans’ resistance to Medicaid expansion in the 12 remaining holdout states will continue to be a top issue in next year’s elections, even as successful ballot initiatives in red states like Missouri and Nebraska show the proposal is popular across party lines.
At a special session last week, Wisconsin Republicans rejected Gov. Evers’ proposal to expand BadgerCare and invest the cost savings in much-needed economic development projects across the state. During an interview with Dan O’Donnell, likely Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch applauded legislative Republicans, calling BadgerCare expansion a “bad idea.” Expanding BadgerCare would cover 90,900 Wisconsinites and save the state $1.6 billion over the next two years.
As lieutenant governor, Kleefisch vehemently supported Scott Walker’s rejection of BadgerCare expansion, touting it as a “model for the nation.” But Wisconsin has lost out on millions of dollars for failing to expand BadgerCare under the Walker-Kleefisch administration. Expanding BadgerCare back then would have made 82,000 Wisconsinites eligible for care, saved the state $643 million, and decreased the uninsured population by sixteen percent.
Kleefisch has blamed health care troubles on Wisconsinites, saying people need to be “better health care consumers.” While Kleefisch laments about BadgerCare, she herself benefited from her husband’s government-run health care plan – but insists she doesn’t want anyone else to have the access to affordable health care she had.
“You know what’s a really ‘bad idea’? Refusing to expand BadgerCare and letting Wisconsin’s economy lose out on billions of dollars,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Kayla Anderson. “Wisconsin is letting huge opportunities go to waste – all because Republicans like Rebecca Kleefisch and Robin Vos don’t want to expand health care access to 90,000 Wisconsinites. Wisconsin deserves leaders who fight to improve access to affordable health care and put their constituents’ needs above political grandstanding.”