Wisconsin expanding Medicaid could cover more than 274,000 lacking insurance
By Doug Cunningham
If the state of Wisconsin expanded its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act it could cover 274,000 people who lack health insurance now. It could create 10,500 new jobs and inject the states economy with $1.3 billion in additional economic activity. That’s according to a Families USA report. Families USA Director Ron Pollack.
[Ron Pollack]: “The Medicaid expansion is a win, win, win proposition for the people of Wisconsin. It will reduce the number of people who can’t afford health care, it will increase the number of jobs throughout the state and it will strengthen the state’s economy.”
Six Republican governors have said they will take federal money to expand Medicaid. Eleven GOP governors have refused to use the Affordable Care Act to deliver more health insurance coverage to the poor. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker isn’t opting for the full expansion of Medicaid provided for in the Affordable Care Act either, meaning thousands of low-income Wisconsin residents either won’t be covered under Medicaid or will be pushed into federal health insurance exchanges. Wisconsin Democratic Congressman Ron Kind.
[Kind]: “It’s extremely disappointing. I called on him a few weeks back to accept the offer, follow the lead of other prominent Republican governors throughout the nation, make this easy call, do the right thing for the people of Wisconsin. But it appears as if he’s going the opposite direction.”
Wisconsin Citizen Action Executive Director Robert Kraig says the full Medicaid expansion allowed under the Affordable Care Act would be very good for un-insured Wisconsinites and for the state’s economy.
[Robert Kraig]: “I find it absolutely stunning that this is even a question - that we even have to have this debate - given how important this is, what this means to people, to the opportunity they have in our country to live the American Dream to have access to affordable health care. It is a great blow that we would pass up this opportunity.”
Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says the state could save almost $66 million over three years if it took the federal money to fully expand Medicaid.